Fall Retreats

Ahh…fall. The leaves aren’t the only things changing; many youth groups will take their teens on fall retreats changing the hearts of the young participants bringing them in to a deeper stronger relationship with Christ.

Kendra Allenspach, Mary Queen of Peace says:
“While I was on retreat many things happened, but the one that stuck out to me and called to me was Eucharistic Adoration on Saturday night. I have been to Eucharistic adoration before, but nothing compared to this. Towards the end, the priest came around and brought Jesus to each of us- personally. He held the monstrance right in front of our faces. I could truly see God right in front of me. I know that everyone always tells you to not worry about everyone else in the room and just focus on God and Jesus, but we all know that most people are looking around the room to see what everyone else is doing. I know I do, and sometimes that prevents me from really having that one on one time with Jesus during Eucharistic Adoration. But that night on retreat, when the priest brought Jesus right in front of me. I felt him and figured out the role that is mine to play. I am supposed to bring Jesus to everyone I meet and "put him right in front of their faces." I need to share the love of Jesus and help others experience God in their lives. I figured out my role and now I need to help others discover theirs. “

Kristen Rosser shares how her experience changed her: "It all started when my friend made me go on this retreat. As the retreat was nearing, my friend that made me go couldn’t. I decided that I should still go. I only knew a couple of people, but once I got there I met more people. At the beginning there was a lot of dancing and singing-not really into that because I don’t go to Youth Group enough to be able to sing and dance with out song sheets. The first night we had Reconciliation. I always enjoy that because I get to let out all this built up stress and emotion to someone I trust. But even after letting out all this stuff I still wasn’t really into the retreat. I didn’t feel I deserved to be there. However, on Saturday night we had Adoration and it was the most powerful, moving, amazing thing I have experienced. The priest brought the Monstrance around to each and every one of us (I had never experienced that). I admit from the moment Adoration started to the moment the priest was praying over me, I wasn’t praying, I wasn’t thanking God, I don’t even remember thinking. But as the priest was leaving from me, I looked right into his eyes, and I saw Jesus. For the first time in a very long time I truly felt loved, especially from Jesus. Naturally because it was so powerful I started balling (not loudly though!). After Adoration was over, my friends were coming up to me and giving me hugs and they kept saying, “I love you”, “I love you”. Well every time someone would say that, I would start to cry again. I couldn’t help it. Because I haven’t felt that way in so long, when someone I barely knew said it, I believed them and I felt it too. I realized I was with people who loved Jesus and were open to new experiences and people. Of course from that point on I had a BLAST! I sang and danced to random parts of songs that I knew, I talked more, and I opened up to God more. It’s going to take awhile until I completely open up, but this was defiantly apart of the beginning…"

Kate Wiley from St. Clement of Rome says: "Fall Retreat was an amazing experience for me,
I love meeting new people, seeing old friends especially
the ones that come back from college. This retreat really
helped me grow in my faith!"

Grace Guyol, a sophomore at Villa Duchesne and Immacolata parishioner, enjoyed meeting teens from Pillar and St. Anselm at the retreat. But, beyond making new friends, she knew that there was a more important reason for attending the retreat – her Catholic faith. “I'm not sure how it affects me right now,” Guyol says, “but I know that it will affect me later.”

“This is what it's all about,” says Immacolata Youth Minister, Michael Miller. “As a parish family, we should strive to plant seeds of faith in the hearts of our young people... then pray that those seeds take root.”


Reflections From Another Intern

This past summer Julie Schneider assisted the OYM with Project Life. What joy she brought to the offices of the OYM and much needed assistance. Check out [her experience][1] in her own words, as well as those from Susanna, Erin, and Katie.

If you are interested in applying to be an intern for the OYM please visit [this page][2].

[1]: /jobs/internships/testimonies
[2]: /jobs


The OYM is moving!

The time has come for the OYM and [CYC]( staffs to come together at one site. After considering the best location for this consolidation to take place, it was decided that the Cardinal Rigali Center was the place to be.

So, come October 27th and 28th the OYM will be packing up and moving to the Cardinal Rigali Center (well, we're actually already packing!). The office will be closed these two days due to the move. We look forward to getting to know and working with the CYC staff. Please keep us all in your prayers during this time of transition! We thank you all for your support!

Though our address will change, you will still be able to reach us at our current phone numbers. God bless you!


Eucharistic Love

This month the year of the Eucharist will be coming to a close. It is no coincidence that the year of the Eucharist was the last that John Paul II named. He had a great passion for the Eucharist and he encouraged his flock to have the same love of the sacrament.

To close out this year of the Eucharist the Office of Youth Ministry is hosting a prayer and discussion series “Eucharistic Love”. Join us to talk about different Eucharistic themes and have the great opportunity for Adoration.

One participant in the series said “I know for me it has been awesome being able to take a night out of my week and be ministered to after giving to the teens at my parish.” Being youth ministers and core members, you give so much, give your self a chance to receive for a change.

Check the [Eucharistic Love]( page of our web site for more information.


Hurricane Katrina: Ignites prayers!

Our hearts ache for our dear brothers and sisters down south in Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida, to name a few. It is certainly heart wrenching to see the pictures of the devastation and to imagine what many people are going through. This is an opportunity for us to unite our prayers together for those in need. Let us ask the Lord to strengthen those without hope, to comfort those who have lost a loved one, and to heal those who are sick.

Many of you may be wondering what you can do. Well, a collection will be taken up in the Archdiocese of St. Louis parishes during the weekend of September 10-11. Just mark your contribution "Hurricane Katrina Relief." The funds collected will go directly to Catholic Charities to provide help where it is most needed or check out the Catholic Charities [web site](

If you know of any students who have been displaced by Hurricane Katrina, one possibility is to direct them to [Benedictine College]( The college is opening its doors and offering free tuition for the semester for these college students.


Thank You Interns!

We have been blessed here at the OYM with the assistance and presence of four incredible interns. It has been a joy to share this ministry with them and to smile as they have witnessed the details of what it takes to put on an event. We are grateful for their generosity of time and talent this summer. They certainly helped lift the load of work for us! Thank you Susanna, Erin, Katie, and Julie! Check out their [thoughts on their experience](/employment/testimonies.php) this summer.