From Our Director of Religious Education
Peace and Good,
I’ve been on Cloud 9 for two weeks now because I have been rejuvenated by the Spirit, (and the youth of our parish) when I had the privilege to walk with them on their journey to Emmaus, a leadership camp offered by the Diocese of San Diego.
I first went to Camp Emmaus in 2005 when I was still in high school. I went two years in a row as a teen and then returned as a young adult. Camp Emmaus changed my life.
This year we took 16 kids to camp at Whispering Winds in Julian, CA. Some of our teens were very anxious, others excited and some just curious. Fr. Sal, Mrs. Martha, our confirmation coordinator, Ms. Veronica, our faithful assistant and Mr. Danny, our Core Team Leader, made sure the kids felt safe and welcome.
The theme of the camp was based on the Gospel of Luke 24:13-35, the disciples walking on the road to Emmaus and recognizing Christ at the breaking of the bread.
Each day the students unfolded the passage to reflect on their own personal journey with Christ. The students had the opportunity to listen to various testimonies from other young adults, they went to confession and listened to different workshops on leadership skills. Of course, there was also A LOT of fun, a talent show, (our kids are so talented), and outdoor sports; all allowing us to build relationships and make new friends.
On the final night, after talking about recognizing Jesus in the breaking of the bread, we had Mass and adoration with the Blessed Sacrament. All the teens fell to their knees at the sight of our Lord exposed on the altar and they worshiped. My own heart burns in joy and love as I remember this. That night, the camp was filled with the Spirit. The hearts of our youth were ignited!
Camp only lasted 5 days, but those moments will stay with us forever. Our Core Team learned many leadership skills and discovered that God is calling them to be light for this world. They also found out that Fr. Sal is a great dancer!
To see these young people, our own children of our parish, be vulnerable, and open up their hearts to Jesus at the altar is to see God in action. It’s moments like these that motivate me to keep on serving in my ministry. If there’s one thing I learned at this retreat by watching our teens, it’s to let go and let God be. Once we allow him to take reign, there is no way of knowing what great things he will do.
I would like to end by expressing my sincere gratitude to our entire parish community for supporting our youth. Thank you to all the generous people who helped fund our Core Team Confirmation youth for Camp Emmaus. Thank you to our Pastor Fr. Oscar, our associate pastor Fr. Sam, and in a special way to Fr. Salvador who joined us at camp. Now it’s time to continue to work and keep these kids on the path to Christ. Please continue to pray for them as they unfold their God-given talents.
Peace, Sandra Dominguez
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