Often, when young people met Pope John Paul II, he would start or conclude his time with them by looking into their eyes intensely and exhorting, “Coraggio! Be not afraid!” This also became the theme of his encouraging words to the crowds at World Youth Day in Toronto in 2002.
CORAGGIO means, “Courage!” in Italian. We live in a time when it does take courage in many forms to be vibrantly Catholic and Christian. Pope Leo XIII stated, “Catholics are born for combat!” However, this is not a call to take up arms physically, per se, but to stand up for the defenseless, to sacrifice for others, to discipline our skewed desires that enslave us, and “to undertake the defense of truth and uproot errors from the mind.”* This is a battle of true charity against hate; selflessness against pride and greed. This is the great adventure of sanctity to which each of us is called.
This year’s theme focuses on “To Jesus Through Mary” for the celebration of the 100th Anniversary of Our Lady’s apparitions at Fatima, Portugal. Sometimes people think that Catholics are just all about Mary. But we love her because in doing so we imitate Christ (who loved her most of all), we are brought closer to Him through her guidance, and we gain a heavenly intercessor and mother who shows us the path to happiness.
Our CORAGGIO retreat will immerse teens in the presence of Christ and His call to holiness. An engaging combination of speakers, small groups, prayer, reflection, sacramental availability, adoration, music, games, meals together, and media will help them to become more attuned to the voice of God in their lives.
This retreat is the highlight of our Confirmation Preparation program. It is also open to all high school teens from our parish and beyond. Register today!
*Quotations from Leo XIII’s encyclical, “Sapientiae Christianae”