World Youth Day Retreat

We Are the Servants of the Lord

We had a great pilgrimage retreat in preparation for World Youth Day Panama. Packed our bags in practice for Panama, and hiked 10 miles on the Ice Age Trail to Holy Hill. We enjoyed great team bonding as we each shared something we learned about Panama, The Spansih language, and the Patron Saints of this World Youth Day; we also enjoyed the beauty of God’s Creation on the Ice Age Trail and Holy Hill.

We prayed Holy Hour and Vespers with the friars, and we camped out in a field, working as a team to set up camp, share our food rations and enjoy comradere around the campfire.

We discovered the main principles of Pilgrimage, whether for a trip like this or for the pilgrimage of life:

  1. Bring a Joyful Spirit
  2. Travel light
  3. If you see a restroom, use it
  4. If you are offered food or water, receive it
  5. Share what you have with all
  6. Be concerned for your fellow companions
  7. Put your talents and gifts to work for the benefit of all and the Greater Glory of God
  8. Offer up your pain and suffering with Christ’s on the Cross, for your benefit and the benefit of all
  9. Have an Attitude of Gratitude for all things
  10. Glorify God in all things

Speak your Word in me, Lord, and let your Will be done.

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Saturday Morning at Steubenville

We began our day with Mass. Our very own Deacon Bob proclaimed the Gospel as Father John Burns inspired us with his homily and Bishop Powers blessed us in the Liturgy of the Eucharist.

The theme of the morning speakers was identity as blessed sons and daughters of God and growing in holy relationships. Our morning was capped with the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

Friday at Steubenville

The opening session was very inspiring, we were challenged to be more authentic in our relationship with God. When we first got there, we went to a Traveler’s mass with many other teens. After mass, we listened to music and we got to preview the speakers and adoration. After the night was over, the group headed back to the hotel and we had small group time where we discussed what we learned.

Steubenville 2018

We began our pilgrimage to Steubenville Rochester with stop at a beautiful Wisconsin Spiritual Hot-Spot, Rudolph Grotto Gardens and Wonder Cave, the life work of Father Phillip Wagner, in Thanksgiving to Our Lord and Our Lady. This was an awesome spiritual experience, you have to visit, just 15 minutes west of Steven’s Point, incredible shrines, chapel and the spectacular cave of shrines.

Our next stop was at Decon Bob’s cabin, where we stayed the night. There we went swimming and hung out getting closer as a group and preparing ourselves for the spiritual journey of the Stuebenville conference.

Day Two of Mission Camp

After Mass and a nourishing breakfast, we walked across the street to Autumn Oaks Community. We spent time visiting with the residents and doing chores around the grounds.

We enjoyed playing cards and listening to their stories; we always feel welcome there, and they are so grateful for the work we do beautifying their gardens and grounds.

We walked up to Fireman’s Park after lunch to stain some new sign posts before heading to Slinger Pond for a refreshing and fun swim.

For dinner and evening fun, we went to Ann Hayden’s house. She introduced us to her little farm, donkeys, goats, chickens and dogs. Ann built a huge bonfire for us and we enjoyed laughing and sharing stories.

Mission Camp, Day One

This year’s Mission Camp boasts twenty Middle School Campers from St Peter and Resurrection Parishes. We started camp with a little team building exercises, a lesson about Mission Discipleship from Tom Gauger and a nice talk from our Missionary Priest, Fr. Augustine, about his missionary experiences in the Himilaian Mountains.

Being properly prepared and encouraged, we headed out to our first Mission Site, St Peter School Playground. The playground was in desperate need of an overhaul, so we worked hard in the hot sun to redefine the playground layout, remove unwanted vegetation, and lay down copious amounts of mulch to pad the play areas. Once finished, we looked back on the work we’d done with a sense of accomplishment, the playground is now restored to a beautiful and safe state. We know the young children will enjoy many hours of fun here.

Many hands make light work. We finished quicker than we thought so we decided to weed and beautify the St Peter Cemetery also, we were surprised by the number of names we recognized and took great reverence in cleaning around each grave.

After Mass in St George Chapel, we enjoy dinner and a movie, “Heaven is for Real”, followed by discussion about how our actions reflect our beliefs..