Hundreds of diocesan youth celebrate Charismatic retreat

Friday, May. 19, 2017
Hundreds of diocesan youth celebrate Charismatic retreat + Enlarge
As part of the Charismatic Youth Encounter, the participants celebrated the Consecration of Mary. See additional photos on the Intermountain Catholic Facebook page.
By Laura Vallejo
Intermountain Catholic
OREM — More than 700 youth from all over the Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City flooded Saint Francis of Assisi Parish’s gymnasium to celebrate the fifth Youth Diocesan Charismatic Youth Retreat.
With the theme “The Holy Spirit is in Us,” the retreat presenters Jesse Demara and Tavo Godoy shared four talks, all based on God’s love.
The retreat ran from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on May 13. Father Jose A. Barrera, administrator of Saint Therese of the Child Jesus Parish in Midvale and spiritual advisor of the diocesan Charismatic Renovation, welcomed everyone to the retreat.
“We are here today to learn more about God’s love and how the Holy Spirit works in us,” he said.
Youth from 13 to 18 years old, from parishes such as Our Lady of Guadalupe, Saint Francis of Assisi, Saints Peter and Paul, Saint Therese of the Child Jesus, Sacred Heart, among others, attended the presentations.
The importance of celebrating and having these youth retreats is “so the youth know our church, so they know what it is made of. Our retreats talk about God the Father and the Holy Spirit. We want to wake in them that curiosity of looking for that something else,” said Marta Chadaz from Santa Ana Mission in Tremonton, who is a member of the Charismatic Diocesan Renovation.
The youth also had a Marian Consecration to commemorate the 100 anniversary of the Fatima apparitions.
“God is good all the time, and all the time God is good,” said Demara to the youth.
He asked them to put aside everything that was going in their lives and focus on the present moment.
“I know there’s a lot of chaos outside, lots of situations going on,” Demara said. “I don’t know exactly what’s going on in your life, but I know that for sure God wants us to be happy – not just fake smiles, not just ‘I am having a good time,’ but truly happy, truly joyful. … The only way to be truly happy is with God on your side, is with God in your heart.”
With moments that went from meditation and prayer to musical worship and sharing moments of friendship with others, the retreat also gave the youth the opportunity to ask any question that they would like to answer.
 “It opened my heart to know that God is here with me,” said Ana Luz Elena Badin, one of the youth from Saint Francis of Assisi Parish.
The feeling was shared by Mel Galeana from the same parish. For her, the highlight of the retreat was feeling that God loves her.
“It was a great experience feeling the love of God. I feel lots of emotions and I am very happy,” she said.
For others, the retreat made them reflect on the issue of trust.
“The retreat has been great. It has explained to us how God is with us all the time, and how we need to trust in God more,” said Ezequiel Ortega from Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish.
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