A couple weeks ago, Donna, Erin B, Brad and Clare Behrmann met Marianne Cline for coffee while she stopped into town on her way from discernment in California to novitiate in New Jersey. It’s always an energetic, laughter-filled meeting when Marianne’s around, but this time, she brought a gift and a letter that brought tears to our eyes. We honor Marianne’s generosity and friendship by sharing her story here. If this story inspires you, if YSP meant to you what it means to Marianne, PLEASE give today.
Marianne gave a check for $443.03 and included this letter (which we all ugly-cried over while trying to read it aloud):
Dear YSP Board,
It has been my privilege to be involved with Youth Sing Praise since 2004. After watching my sister, Megan, participate in the program for 2 years, I was dying to go too. I was blessed to be a participant for 4 years and to be on the Helpers Team for an additional 4 years.
It is amazing to think how much those 8 weeks of my life have shaped the person I am today. I am especially grateful for how YSP drew me closer to God and provided me with a great community full of life-long friends. As a participant, YSP showed me God’s unconditional love through the community which was immediately open, loving, and accepting of all members. Through Helpers Team, YSP helped me develop my servant leadership skills as I ministered to the participants in a way that was largely unseen, but essential.
Feeling God’s love for me in the YSP community and growing in ministry on Helpers Team were experiences that influenced my decision to discern religious life. My discernment led me to the Salesian Sisters of St John Bosco (also known as the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians) who, like YSP, minister to young people, particularly those on the margins of society. Nearly 2 years ago, I entered the order to discern my vocation further.
As I prepared to (God-willing) enter the novitiate next month, I no longer need my own bank account. As a result, I am donating $443.03–my own “widow’s mite”as it were. It’s not much, but it’s quite literally all that I have, and I could think of no worthier cause to give to, no program that has given me so much to be grateful for as YSP.
Know that YSP will always be in my prayers, and I hope that those involved can pray for me too!
With my love and gratitude, Marianne Cline
Marianne’s generosity greatly helps us approach our fundraising goal for this year. (We currently have a $4507.50 deficit yet.) Even more than that, her friendship and support of the program are what make YSP so rewarding. Young people pass through this program and stay in touch, often come back to volunteer their talents, let YSP shape the vocation that God calls them to. We are so proud of Marianne for accepting a vocation to the religious life, and to all who are living in response to God’s call with integrity and joy. All of your vocations make us proud! Thank you for keeping in touch and sharing your accomplishments with us! And thank you for forever remaining a part of the YSP family!