Diocese hosts national TEC leaders

Today’s generation of young Catholics is a bountiful harvest of souls that Christ has prepared for the church — all that is needed are laborers filled with faith and joy to bring in the harvest.

About 120 adult leaders of Teens Encounter Christ came from across the United States and internationally to the Diocese of Peoria’s new Spalding Pastoral Center last weekend to hear and meditate on that message at TEC Congress 2009.

Congress speakers included Auxiliary Bishop William Callahan of Milwaukee; TEC co-founder Father Matthew Fedewa; and Sister Jacque Schroeder, OSF, Peoria diocesan spiritual director for TEC.

Also in attendance was Dorothy Gereke, who with Father Fedewa founded TEC in 1965 in Michigan. TEC was established in the Diocese of Peoria in 1973, and there are four TEC Centers in the diocese — Peoria, Bloomington-Normal, Moline and Peterstown.

“The strength and life of an organization like TEC is always based on what you are doing in trying to light fires in people’s lives,” Bishop Callahan told the TEC leaders Saturday morning.

Bishop Callahan, a Conventual Franciscan who served for many years as pastor of Holy Family Parish in Peoria, recently was appointed by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops as TEC episcopal moderator. Later that day he celebrated Mass for the TEC Congress at St. Mary’s Cathedral.

It was the fourth consecutive year the national TEC Conference has sponsored a congress. The gathering, which opened Friday evening and ran until noon on Sunday, featured prayer, lively music, talks and work sessions.

Not only an opportunity for TEC leaders to recharge their spiritual batteries and share ideas for ministry to young Catholics, the congress also included live and silent auctions to help raise funds to support the work of the TEC Conference.

Among the highlights of the congress was a TEC “hoot” aboard the Spirit of Peoria riverboat during a Saturday evening cruise on the Illinois River. Music for the evening and throughout the weekend was provided by ReZound, whose members come from parishes in the Bloomington-Normal area.

With a theme of “A Plentiful Harvest in Christ,” the congress offered witness talks that explored the meaning of Christ’s words in Matthew 9:37-38, “The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest.”

SPALDING PASTORAL CENTER | 419 NE MADISON AVENUE | PEORIA, IL 61603 | PHONE (309) 671-1550 | FAX (309) 671-1595
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