PANAMA AT THE CAPITAL World Youth Day Rally
On January 26th, Panama came to Washington DC as 1,400 young adults gathered stateside to celebrate World Youth Day alongside Pope Francis in Panama City. The Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston co-sponsored the event with the Archdiocese of Washington, the Archdiocese of Baltimore, and the Diocese of Arlington. The day was filled with musicians, speakers, Panamanian food and dancing, Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine, and ended with a concert with The Hunts. The venues for the stages included The Catholic University of American, John Paul II National Shrine, and the Basilica of the National Shrine. During Mass, the Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Pierre told the young people gathered, "The message of faith is rejected as something superstitious, as something to be set aside. This is our challenge. Despite the pressure, we remain faithful. This is, we truly believe he is the Messiah, the fulfillment of our hopes and dreams." The next World Youth Day will be in Lisbon, Portugal in 2022 and we are looking forward to the upcoming stateside opportunities to join those gathered in Portugal.
Country Roads TEC #2
In continuing the success of our recently-combined statewide TEC program, Country Roads TEC #2 was held January 19-21. We had 12 new teens, 2 new adults, and the retreat team made up of youth peer ministers as well as dedicated adults. Joining the TEC community has been shown to have great impact on a young person's spiritual development, and we are incredibly grateful for the adults and teen ministers who live out our call to Christian hospitality, allowing the number of young people who get to experience this retreat to continue growing. The conversion experience offered through reflection on Christ's passion, death, and resurrection, as well as through His call to the apostles thereafter, allows teens to truly connect with and relate to Christ's humanity in a way that allows them to get to know His love for them more deeply. Stay tuned for more information about upcoming TECs that you can invite your own teens to attend!