By: Kathy Sullivan, Full Member of Women Youth Apostles
Each year for the past 7 years I have had the most wonderful Blessing of joining all of the Catholic Life Community (CLC) moderators from the Arlington Diocese on a All Girls’ CLC Retreat. Each year we take approximately 25-35 young high school women away for a weekend to enjoy time with Community and the Lord. And every year I’m reminded of how much I have to gain in my relationship with the Lord.
The girls attending the retreat range in age from 14-18 and are all active members of their church’s Youth Ministry and CLC. For some of them this may be their first retreat since the Confirmation Retreat they attended in 8th grade, so they are really excited to be in communion with the Lord and each other.
This year we had 25 young women and 9 Moderators spend a weekend of “Refuge” in Concord Retreat Center, WV. The weather was awesome and this allowed us to do more things outside but by far the best parts of the weekend were spent in small group time, Adoration, Confession, Craft Time and of course Mass. We were Blessed to have Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament for 24 hours (thank you Fr. Tom Yehl) and even were able to have adoration over night!
Each time I am with these beautiful women I am reminded about how wonderful community is and the joy it brings. I was able to spend most of the weekend with one of my brothers in community, Fr. Tom, and one of my sisters in community, Amelia Gil. What a joy to be able to do ministry side-by-side with your Community. Also, the girls on retreat are able to see first-hand what it is like to be in Community with other women of their own age. The giggling and pure happiness that comes from being together in one house is really LOUD but AWESOME!
At the end of the weekend each year I remember why I feel called to this ministry. HOPE and JOY! Hope that these women will have the love of Christ each second, minute, hour and day of the rest of their lives and Joy that they have experienced in their CLC Community will continue into their adulthood.
If you have any questions about Catholic Life Community (CLC) or would like information on which parishes in the Diocese offer it, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.