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Archives Middle school retreat focuses on vocations

Jan. 23, 2019

SARANAC LAKE – The rainy fall weather could not dampen the enthusiasm of 116 middle school students from Middle School Retreatour Catholic schools and parish religious education programs who gathered at Camp Guggenheim for a vocation retreat.

Jointly sponsored by the diocesan youth department and the vocations office, the retreat was an opportunity for the students to ponder the question, “What is God calling me to do?”

The theme for this year’s retreat was from the prophet Jeremiah, “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to give you hope and a future…”

The day began with active icebreakers and opening prayer, led by diocesan youth director, Tom Semeraro.
After that, Sister Suanne, a Sister of St. Joseph who ministers in Ticonderoga, spoke about how we know what God is calling us to be.

From there, students broke into small groups for workshops that talked about the importance of prayer, recognizing our talents and gifts, and listening to what others say about us.

“One of the nice things about today is that students get to meet students from other schools,” said diocesan Vocations Coordinator Cathy Russell, one of the event’s coordinators. “We split students up, so they can have this opportunity.”

A lunch of pizza, salad, cookies and water was provided with the help of the Diocese of Ogdensburg Vocation Society (DOVS).

After lunch, students were given the opportunity to hear from a variety of people who shared their vocation journeys. Father Bryan D. Stitt discussed priesthood, Sister Suanne talked about consecrated life, and questions about marriage were fielded by Paul and Samantha Poulin, and John McBride and Ellen Rose Miner, who were recently engaged.

After brief introductions, the students were able to ask questions of the panelists.

The day ended with Mass, celebrated by Bishop Terry R. LaValley.

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