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Diocesan Teens Attend Disciples on the Journey Retreat

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Approximately 400 Catholic teenagers, adults, and college crew staff took part in the Disciples on the Journey retreat, Saturday, October 10 at Short Journey Center in Smithfield. For the past 33 years, the program has been known as Back to Earth.

The featured speaker was Dr. Greg Moser, D. Min., Executive Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry in the Diocese of Cleveland, Ohio. In his presentation, he encouraged the teens to fall in love with Jesus in the Eucharist, and in a reference to the Sermons of St. Augustine noted, “We become what we receive.” He asked them to reach beyond themselves and love the poor and dispossessed. He told them to pray and to ask God, “What do you want me to do with my life?” and to listen for the answer.

The gathering also had the opportunity to meet Patrick Diener, the new Diocesan Director of Youth Ministry, who began his new job Monday, October 12.

Mr. Diener addressed four key points in his remarks:

  • Christ asks us all to follow him as disciples. We do not have to be the smartest, the coolest or the most religious.
  • Christ asks us to follow Him, He does not make us.  He waits for our “yes”.
  • Mary teaches us what it means to say “yes” to the unknown. We do not know what will happen when we say “yes” in following Christ.
  • Being a disciple does not mean we just learn about Christ, but means we should strive to be Christ to others.

The Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge, Bishop of Raleigh, was the principal celebrant and homilist at the concluding Mass on Saturday. Rev. Msgr. David D. Brockman, Vicar General of the Diocese, concelebrated. Dr. Michael J. Fedewa, Diocesan Superintendent of Catholic Formation and Education, and Sister Rose Marie Adams, Diocesan Director of Evangelization and Catechesis, were both in attendance.

The Bishop began his homily by encouraging the young people to meditate on Jesus’ Gospel question: “What do you want Me to do for you?” and to have confidence in the Lord’s love for them.