More than 200 youth from the Dioceses of Raleigh and Charlotte attended the three-day John 6:35 Eucharistic Retreat April 9-11 at Cardinal Gibbons High School in Raleigh.
The retreat has its roots in Youth 2000, which began as a result of Pope John Paul II’s call at World Youth Day 1989 in Compostela, Spain, for a decade of Evangelization of young people leading up to the New Millennium. In 2005, the first YOUTH 2000 was held in Raleigh.The following year the name was changed to JOHN 6:35 (for the Scripture verse “I Am the Bread of Life”) and continues in the YOUTH 2000 format serving young people throughout North Carolina.
This retreat is based on the Gospel of St. John, Chapter 6, "I Am the Bread of Life," and is open to all young adults ages 13 - 30. It offers Mass, the Sacrament of Penance, Eucharistic adoration, music, catechesis, prayer, meditation and fellowship. In addition, the youth hear talks on topics from the Gospel of John such as: Who is Jesus Christ? “Whoever sees the Son and believes in Him shall have eternal life,” John 6:40 and The Eucharist and the Pascal Mystery, “This is the bread that comes down from Heaven,” John 6:58. The purpose of the retreat is to lead young people to a personal encounter and ever-deepening union of heart and mind with the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus Christ.
On Saturday evening, the Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge, Bishop of Raleigh, celebrated the Vigil Mass. In his homily, he spoke of what it means to be the Lord’s companion in the midst of busy lives. He encouraged the young men and women to begin each day offering all that they are about to do to the Lord in order to be recognized as companions of Him, as the disciples were in the First Reading.
Abigail Reimel is a high school freshman active in the Cape Fear Teens for Life at St. Mark in Wilmington. “A friend’s mom told me about it and I thought it would be a good thing for my spiritual life,” she said. This was her first time at the retreat. “The experience has been really incredible. They have it set up so that you can spend time with Jesus, and we’ve heard some great speakers.”
Jordan Skinner and Tracy Guin came with their Confirmation class from St. Joseph’s Parish in Raleigh. “There’s lots of music, which is fun. We also like Mass, Eucharistic Adoration and the great speakers.”