Student Testimonies


“I came to help myself and I left to help others.”

Mission Plan: INFLAME CATHOLIC (website by Catholic Teens, for Catholic Teens)

“At its very start, I didn’t know what I wanted to do with it – I just wanted to post a couple of articles that stick out to any youth who was struggling spiritually. I had a couple of ideas for articles, then I just kind of realized it would be a lot more impactful if I just created my own platform for others to share their stories. Making a website would be the best way to do that – I had met so many people at MDI who had amazing stories. Pretty soon we got a rough website up and from there we had a basic layout of what we would put up for prayers, reflections as well as articles."

Mission Plan Goals:

To provide a space with great content for Catholic teens by Catholic teens.

Through the help of many others within the MDI community, I had an "overwhelming sense of community that made me think, yes, I can do this mission plan.”


MDI helps you find your purpose and your meaning in life with others. It is an extraordinary experience you get to share with other people; as you come to know those people and God more, you come to know yourself more. You can just see the life that God has planned for you. I never thought about faith being fun – MDI did that for me.”

Mission Plan: Children’s Liturgy of the Word Program

“I started going to help kids… and then I’d also read the readings… I went every week but I wasn’t leading it like I wanted to. There’s a wall between the parish and the young people, so I wanted to break that barrier…If we get them started young, they will have their faith by the time that they’re teenagers.”

Mission Plan Goals:

(a) start leading it, writing my own reflections

(b) improve it by getting more kids to come and make connections between Scripture and young lives, help it to grow so that the parish would be more connected to young people


“I’ve never seen any other youth who have had their faith so alive… MDI showed that to me. We learned how to be missionary disciples, evangelize, and how to live out the Joy of the Gospel. I didn’t know what I was expecting but Christ did touch us, God reached us over the week. Before I went to MDI, I hadn't had my realization as a Catholic… I never felt a connection. MDI was definitely a very powerful, prayerful, and life-changing experience that everyone should have the opportunity to go to.”

Mission Plan: Conversation and Pizza Night/s

"For any youth in the community to join. If they had any questions about the faith they were welcome to come and join us. Our priest came and answered questions that were submitted.

We made pizza by hand and had conversation and fellowship! It started as a one-day affair that morphed into an every Saturday thing where we have a themed discussion talk.”

Mission Plan Goal: Provide a space where no one is the expert, exactly, and that all can gather at a common ground and come to a common understanding.


"MDI is an amazing opportunity to not only grow your faith, but to become a leader of your faith. Being able to have a full week with people I didn’t really know and share the same living space and share the same new opportunities we were given… that was really cool. I had new people I could talk to about all these new experiences and they would feel the same way!

I feel like I learned a lot from both of my tracks. From teaching, I have learned how to communicate what I have learned…from service taking what I have learned and put it into action. Learning about different kinds of service, different ways to teach, it culminated in the retreat – not only did I give a speech, the teaching, but I was able to lead a small group and help them find their way back into their faith.”

Mission Plan: Freshmen & Sophomore Parish Retreat

“I wasn’t super sure what I wanted to do, I knew I wanted to bring back what I learned to my parish. Another MDI participant, Arianna Kelley, had a great idea to start a retreat, so the two of us partnered up! I was able to lead a small group and give a talk and was able to get people involved at the very beginning of the retreat. We offered it for freshmen and sophomores, because there hadn’t been one at our parish. My hope is that the retreat will continue even after I graduate."

Mission Plan Goal: Provide a retreat for underclassmen who would otherwise not have had the opportunity to grow in their faith in this way.