For children and teens, summer is usually a time for fun, with a break from school and many of the usual sports activities. The same goes for religious education programs. But several of our parish teens have used the summer as an opportunity to grow in faith and serve others.
This summer, Marah Becks attended her second Steubenville Youth Conference, as well as a Catholic HEART Workcamp in Washington, D.C., where she primarily worked in the memory care area of a nursing home. Marah left the conference and camp ready to spread the love of Christ and serve others.
“The camps never fail to give me the opportunity to grow in my faith, and all I have to do is accept it,” Marah says. “I see Christ through everyone I meet and all the new friends that are made by attending these opportunities.”
This November, Marah will attend the National Catholic Youth Conference with the Quincy Notre Dame Campus Ministry.
“I would recommend everyone, no matter their age, give one retreat a chance,” Marah says. “Once you attend one, you want to keep experiencing what you did that week or weekend. If you don’t want to sacrifice a week, there are many weekend opportunities, especially in Quincy. If you are on the fence about it, go. Just be open and give it a shot. You will not regret it at all.”
Ada Kurk attended her first Steubenville Youth Conference this summer, as well as her third Catholic HEART Workcamp and fifth Teens Encounter Christ retreat. Each of these experiences helped her grow in her faith. Through Catholic HEART Workcamp, she has traveled to Kansas City, Kan., Billings, Mont., and Washington, D.C.
“Working in all three of those places showed me a new love for serving others through the gifts God has blessed me with,” Ada says.
Catholic HEART Workcamp has allowed Ada to grow in her faith through the programming and by serving those most in need. Importantly, it gave her a greater appreciation for all she has. She also fell more in love with Jesus in Eucharistic Adoration — during the retreat, a priest carries Jesus throughout the crowd in a monstrance. It’s a very unique experience.
“People just gravitated to Him,” she says. “It was incredible.”
All of these faith opportunities have given Ada the opportunity to truly grow in her faith. She would recommend all of them to her peers.
“If you have the opportunity to attend any of these retreats, take it,” she says. “You won’t regret any of them as they offer unique opportunities to grow in our faith.”