Youth 2000 retreat set for April
By KATIE LEFEBVRE, Globe staff reporter
“It is very in line with the bishop’s pastoral letter,” said Linsey Hoard, assistant director of youth catechesis and evangelization. “One of his priorities is to increase devotion to the Blessed Sacrament. That is exactly what this retreat is planning to do – it all revolves around the Eucharist.”
The retreat for youth will be held April 17-19 at St. Edmond School in Fort Dodge. Youth 2000 is geared towards ages 13 to 30.
Hoard explained a monstrance is set up in the middle of the gym or space provided for the retreat and the attendees sit around the Blessed Sacrament.
“The speaker stands by the monstrance to give a talk. Everything is in front of the Eucharist,” she said. “The only time the Eucharist is put away is before Mass.”
The National Youth 2000 office sends between four and six speakers, CFRs – Franciscan Friars of the Renewal. The speakers will be brothers and sisters from the order, who will discuss topics important to young people.
Following the talks, attendees meet in age appropriate small groups to ask questions about their faith, to discuss the talks and to discuss difficulties they may face in today’s society.
“It’s a solid retreat that has born a lot of fruits,” said Hoard. “We have had people from our diocese going to Youth 2000 in Des Moines for years. It is a new opportunity, experience for a lot of these kids. The Lord changes hearts in adoration, even if your heart is unwilling or unopen.”
Ann Pugh, a parishioner at St. Mary’s in Sac City, is part of a committee helping with preparations for the retreat.
“It is exciting,” she said. “It is a great retreat because it is Eucharist-based. The whole time we are with the Eucharist – the greatest part. The friars speak directly to you. They talk about what is happening culturally in the youth’s lives right now. It gives you support throughout the year.”
According to the Youth 2000 website, the “heart” of the weekend is the celebration of the Mass, adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and the sacrament of reconciliation. The weekend also includes catechesis, music, prayer, talks, workshops and friendship.
Youth 2000 began in 1989 as a challenge from Pope John Paul II at World Youth Day in Santiago de Compostela, Spain. The pope said, “It is to you young people the task first falls of becoming witness to the faith and of bringing into the third millennium the Gospel of Christ, who is the way, the truth and the life.”
The goals of Youth 2000 are to promote a knowledge and love of Jesus in the most Blessed Sacrament; to promote devotion to Mary, the mother of God, especially through the rosary; and to promote fidelity to the teachings of the Catholic Church and the Magisterium.
More information will be provided closer to the retreat about how to sign up. Anyone who would like to volunteer to help or find out more, contact Linsey Hoard at firstname.lastname@example.org or (712) 233-7561.
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