Monday, May 14, 2007

Retreat: NJYAC Summary

This is the first post about the NJ Young Adult Conference held in Laurence Harbor on May 5, 2007. This is just a summary of the day, with descriptions of all the workshops being held.

We started the day with a skit about "the light". Then we opened in prayer at 10:20 AM. We were led in prayer by five people (myself included). The morning prayer consisted of five prayer meditations, each followed by a song. Next, at 11:00 AM, Fr. John Cusick (priest in the Archdiocese of Chicago and founder of Theology on Tap, as well as the director of his Archdiocese's Young Adult Ministry) gave the Keynote Presentation on Matthew 5:1-16 (the Beatitudes and the "Salt and Light" discourse). This was followed by lunch.

At 1:30 PM, the first workship session started. There were seven workshops being offered in different areas of the church basement and parish hall; they were:
A Light in the Darkness: Bringing the Catholic Social Teaching to Life (Terri Willox) - An overview of the primary themes of Catholic Social Teaching as our response to the call of the Gospel. It will focus specifically on means of advocating justice at both the community and global levels.

Some May Try to Turn Out the Light: Defending the Faith (Marc Hudock) - This workshop will discuss the finer points of living amongst those caustic elements of our culture which can hidner us from truly living our faith. It will focus on truly living a robust Christian life, which inevitably puts us in the position where we may have to "defend the faith" on a daily basis.

Walk, Believe, Become the Light of Discernment (Sister Marilyn Minter, CSSF) - This workshop will focus on discernment: what it is, what it is not, how we do it, and how much we all do walk in it to be the light with Christ.

Rekindling the Light in the Church Today: Beking the Church Jesus Really Intended (Michael Fabien) - This workshop offers a look at the Church through fresh eyes. What are we about? Who are we? What did Jesus ask us to be? It will explore what it means to be, not a Church with a mission, but a mission with a Church.

Turning Your Lights On: Transformed by the Light of the Human Race (Nivi Srinivasa) - This workshop will focus on meditation and prayer as toosl to help us to encounter the Living Christ. Such an encounter dispels fear, so that we can follow the example of the Apostles and evangelize.

Spark It: Building Young Adult Ministry (Margaret Rickard) - This workshop will focus on getting support from parishes, finding leaders, and getting the word out to the young adult population.

Keeping the Lights On: Keeping the Light in Your Relationship (Raphael and Aly Giglio) - This workshop will focus on the similarities of the relationship of husband and wife as is depicted in Scripture as Christ loved the Church (Eph 5:25). It will also include some focus of doing ministry together as a couple.
After this first session ended, around 2:15 PM, we went back to the parish hall for a question & answer session with the Bishop of the Metuchen Diocese, the Most Reverend Paul Gregory Bootkoski. This lasted for about a half hour, after which we went to our second workshop, at 3:00 PM. We had free time from around 4:00 PM to 4:30 PM. Then we had Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament -- with the Sacrament of Reconciliation being offered as well -- until 6:00 PM.

Mass was held in the church at 6:15 PM, celebrated by Fr. Brian Woodrow (from St. Rose of Lima Church in Belmar, NJ), with Fr. Philip and Fr. Giancarlo concelebrating. After Mass, we had a Cinco de Mayo-themed dinner, ending the evening.

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