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Turn to Jesus (Article)

Resting in the Rockies
A group of 16 friends goes on a missionary weekend vacation, Regnum Christi style.

Outdoor Mass overlooking the lake.
Outdoor Mass overlooking the lake.

By Kate Sweeney

As we all know, balance is important in the life of any Regnum Christi member. That’s why several of us RC young adults and our friends headed up into Estes Park (about two hours from Denver) for Labor Day weekend. As summer ends and Challenge, Pure Fashion, and Mission Youth kick off for the fall, we decided to find some rest in the Rockies.

What started as a few friends and a tent turned into a camping fest with 16 of our closest friends. And from the very beginning, it was no ordinary trip.

We invited Fr Shane Lambert, LC, to join us for an outdoor Mass since all 16 of our friends were Catholic. As Regnum Christi cofounders, we did not waste an opportunity to attract others to Christ. Going out in pairs at dinnertime, we invited every tent and RV camper in the park to join us for Sunday Mass on the hilltop. We talked with everyone from the “IRISH Catholics” at site 122 to the three Air Force seniors who were “sort of Catholic,” to the little kid on a bike who wanted to know what Mass was. And while not very many actually joined us the next day, we all saw it as a successful impromptu mission where Christ was made present.

In the same town where John Paul II stayed during his 1993 visit to Denver, we climbed a hill and set up for an outdoor Mass. Lining up rocks next to the candles to hold down the altar cloth in the wind, we prepared for Mass overlooking the lake. We celebrated the greatest Gift in the great outdoors—with our friends reading, singing, and serving.  A large tree provided just enough shade to
Christ was made present in the Rocky Mountains.
Christ was made present in the Rocky Mountains.
cover the altar, and the wind died down right before the Consecration. In his homily, Fr Shane challenged us to seek authentic friendship—and it remained the theme of the trip throughout the rest of our time in the mountains.

And with just as much zeal as we did missions, we rested, in the truest sense. Our weekend was filled with hiking, fishing, mountain climbing (for the bravest few), off-roading (with only one flat tire), morning meditations over the lake, group rosaries on the way down the mountain, only one warning from the park ranger —and, of course, good food and a few drinks. The best part was that the spirit of charity and unity was present in everything from garbage duty to spotting as others climbed up the rock.
At night we started the bonfire—and the real fun began. We reached out and invited other young adults from nearby campsites to join us for some s’mores, games, and stories around the fire. Good conversation flowed like honey, and, for the first time in most of our lives, time went by slowly! The weekend’s goodness seemed to never end.

Looking around at my peers around the fire, I was edified again by the gifts of my faith, the Church, and the Movement present in my everyday life. Christ knew we all really needed this rest, this opportunity to be with old and new friends, these conversations that called us deeper, these chances to share our faith with others, and the realization of the great gift of friendship. The whole experience really helped us to understand the importance of balance needed in the life of an apostle --and fueled our excitement for the mission ahead this year. During those days, Christ was alive and well in the Rockies…



Related links

LTP Philadelphia
Leadership Training Program
Pure Fashion

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