After saying farewell to our new friends, the Sisters of St Francis, at Assisi Heights, we headed back to Wisconsin stopping at Granddad Bluff for a quick view. Then we headed to the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadelupe for Mass and a tour of the grounds, taking time to pray the Stations of the Cross and Rosary along the outdoor Meditation Walk.
We spoiled ourselves with an exquiste lunch at the Shrine Cafe, very delicious, what a treat; and, yes, we did deserve it.
We thank everyone who helped make this Steubenville Pilgrimage possible, we are very grateful. There may be a “holy glow” around Slinger tonight as our holy faces roll into town.
Saturday at Steubenville Youth Conference is always an incredibly amazing experience of God. We began the day with Reconciliation and Holy Eucharist. Before Mass began, Bob Rice explained the Mass to us so we could enter more fully into the Celebration of the Mass. He said, “the Mass, simply put, is the Life of Jesus”; and then he went on to explain how each part of the Mass relates to the life of Jesus and the life we are all called to live. He challenged us: ” In the Eucharist, Jesus gives Himself to us, will we give ourselves to Him through praise and worship in the Mass?” Jesus fills our deepest longings, how do we plan to continue to allow Him to fill us in our daily lives, rather than seeking satisfaction from the things of the world?
The Afternoon sessions gave us much to reflect on and discuss in the way of following Christ in Truth even in the midst of our not fully understanding all that He asks of us and all that Mother Church teaches us. We had passionate conversations about Apologetics and the understanding of the teachings of the Church, and on discernment of Gods plan for us, a plan for holiness in each of our lives – discerning our true vocation in God, whether it be to Religious or Consecrated Life, Priesthood or Deaconate, Holy Matrimony or Holy Single Life. Day to day as we follow God’s Will in the little things – loving one another, and keeping our eyes, thoughts, and words on only those things that lift our mind to Him – the Holy Spirit will slowly lead and guide us to our true vocation and union with God.
The much anticipated evening Adoration session was a beautiful experience for us all. The Holy Spirit blessed us all with a very personal and intimate experience of the Real Presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament leaving us all with an immense feeling of Joy, Peace and a longing for God’s continued Presence in our lives.
We have kept you all in our thoughts and prayers throughout the weekend and will continue to do so, please pray for us also.
After a picture perfect day working with the sisters at Assisi Heights, the Steubenville Youth Conference opened with the high energy music of Sonar, a great Christian Rock / Country Band. Bob Rice is the host of this conference, he inspires us with his beautiful sense of humor and honest spiritual messages. He talked last night about how our great and glorious God made himself small (even bite sized) to fit into our finite minds, heart, soul, lives. He said God is always seeking us, inviting us to enter into relationship with Him, all we need to do is open up just a little bit to let the God of the Universe into our lives by letting go of our fears or our stubbornness or our preconceived ideas about God, and stop trying to fill the void of our lives with worldly things and allow God to fill us.
Staying at Assisi Heights Spirituality Center during the Steubenville Youth Conference is a blessing; without the distractions of staying in a busy dorm or Hotel, it allows us to stay in a prayerful place to reflect on the messages of the day and to prepare ourselves for grace God has waiting for us in the next sessions.
Saturday at Steubenville is always an exciting and life changing experience as we encounter God in a very personal and intimate way. Pray for us, we are praying for you.
Day Two of the Steubenville Pilgrimage – We started the day helping the Sisters of St. Francis with some projects around the grounds. We helped Spring Clean the Chapel, we Scraped old peeling stain of the courtyard benches and sanded them smooth, and we added a fresh coat of wood oil to the solid wooden doors throughout the convent.
We spent much time today visiting with the elderly sisters and listening to their stories; we discovered that sometimes the best “mission work” we can do is to just “be present” to those around us, Pope Francis calls us to this kind of Mission in this Year of Mercy when he talks about “proximity” to the other. Lord, grant us the grace to be always present to those you send our way. Amen
After lunch we spent time, with another youth group and a few of the sisters, weeding their extensive vegetable garden. After a refreshing shower and change of clothes, we headed out for Steubenville Youth Conference with much anticipation and excitement.
Pray for us, we are praying for you.
Steubenville North – Rochester Minnesota: July 14 – 18: St Peter / Resurrection Youth Group will Pilgrimage to Steubenville Catholic Youth Conference in Rochester Minnesota this week, with stops at Dickeyville Grotto and The Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, WI.
Watch this site to share in our experience. We are praying for you, please pray for us.