The weekend before Thanksgiving, 30 young men in high school went away for 3 days to grow in their faith through prayer and community. Our CLCs (Catholic Life Communities) are single sex small groups that are organized at various parishes and every year they all come together for a retreat. Throughout the weekend, there are many opportunities to encounter Jesus through talks, activities, sharing, and of course the sacraments. There is also time to relax and grow in fellowship through sports and over some good food.
This weekend can be life changing for these guys, as they are asked to confront their fears and the things that hold them back from diving more in love with Christ. Through encouragement in the small group setting, everyone is given a chance to seek advice and share what is on his heart.
The time away from the world allows one to really give God the time He needs to work in our hearts. One teen shared that this weekend had some of the deepest sharing he had ever done. Another was enthusiastic when everyone was sharing how they prayed and considered taking those ideas and bringing them to his own prayer life. All of them agreed however that the highlight was adoration.
During adoration, we had a unique opportunity through a Eucharistic procession around the room, where everyone was brought face-to-face with Jesus in a close and personal way. The precious seconds were moments of peace and quiet, something not so easily found in our daily routines.
As a moderator, I always look forward to this weekend. It is so encouraging to see these young men desirous to grow in love for God and for one another. There are many ways to serve God and His people, but helping these boys become men of God is very special to me and I am especially grateful for the time away on the All Boys CLC Retreat.