Sunday, July 25, 2010

Steubenville East 2010: The Word Became Flesh

Once again, we took a group of teenagers to the Steubenville East High School Youth Conference. As was the case last year, the retreat was held in the Ryan Center, which is located on the campus of the University of Rhode Island in Kingston.
Our teens were particularly AWESOME this year (I'm sure they won't argue that point!). The good seed of God's word, which was "scattered" upon them throughout the weekend, found a home in the fertile soil of their hearts (to use an image from my homily at the send off Mass on Friday).
My prayer--and the prayer of our excellent chaperones--is that these teens will allow those seeds of God's truth to grow within them for the rest of their lives--and unto eternity.
To understand the transforming power of Christ that these teens experience at Steubenville, read the following excerpt from an email that one of our young people sent to me at the conclusion of the retreat . . .

"STEUBENVILLE WAS AWESOME. Seriously, the best year yet. And probably ever will. Jackie (one of the speakers) was totally amazing and she's like my role model now and the band was SHWEET and adoration was even BETTER. Adoration was so powerful last night. It was the first time I cried during a Steubenville so far...I really couldnt help it when everyone was reaching out to Christ it was just so...Beautiful. And that's really the only word to describe it. I remember I just kept saying 'I never wanna leave, I never wanna leave' and I seriously did not want to leave. I wanted to just kneel there forever!!!!! One of the songs beforehand was 'Better is One Day,' and I just kept thinking to myself 'Better is one day in Your Courts than thousands elsewhere...Lord, I'd give a million just for this night' ... It was just truly incredible."

Now you know why we go to this incredible event every year!

Here are some pictures from the conference. (Click on images to enlarge.)