IN HIS IMAGE: St. Aloysius Fall Retreat 2010
Long time no blog… Jason and I have both had major life changes in the last year (more on this later…), but it is awesome to be back in the swing of things! We were blessed to spend Labor Day with the St. Aloysius High School Youth Group. With over 125 people in attendance, this year’s Fall Retreat centered on the fundamental teaching that we are made in God’s image. All were challenged to not only recognize the dignity of others but to live their lives in a way which reflects their own personal dignity! The retreat began Saturday with a look at the way relativism affects our certainty of faith. After discussing the fact that God is TRUTH, we established that the God of truth loved us so much that He created us in His Image so that we may know Him, love Him, and serve Him, in order to be happy with him in this life and for eternity in the next! The first night ended with an opportunity to adore the God who loves us by kneeling before His Real Presence, the source and summit of the Christian life, in Eucharistic adoration.
Sunday opened with a closer look at our unique creation as men or women. Using John Paul II’s Theology of the Body and St. Paul’s Ephesians 5, we broke into Guys/Girls Groups to discuss authentic manhood and womanhood. The youth were treated to a special visit by Bishop Meunch, and Mass was celebrated by Father Michael Allelo. The evening ended with an intense period of reflection where participants were invited to look at themselves in the mirror and determine what needs to change in order that they may live in a manner worthy of their unique dignity.
In closing on Monday, Jason offered a reflection on the lives of the saints, while I shared a few practical steps to begin living our lives in the Image of Christ. Throughout the weekend all participants were given opportunity for personal and small group reflection, to share testimonies, and to pray with adult leaders. We closed this retreat with something new… a take-home guide for parents! The guide offered a theological roadmap of the weekend and questions for discussion at home. It is always difficult to maintain that “retreat high” we all experience after a powerful weekend. Providing tools to assist parents in the “keeping it going” process is one way to translate the mountaintop experiences into everyday living.
Thanks to all of you who helped put this retreat together… and thank you also to all whose prayers helped to make it a powerful experience!