Diocese’s teens invited to “Coffee Summit” Feb. 28

NEW WINDSOR — Something strong is going to be brewing in Mercer County on Saturday, Feb. 28, and while it’s called a “Coffee Summit” it doesn’t come in a cup.

Teens are being invited to Camp Summit here for “Taking a Break on Holy Ground,” a retreat that is designed to help them connect with one another as they share food and games, eucharistic adoration, the sacrament of reconciliation, Mass and more.

The speakers for the day include Shirley Plaag, director of youth and young adult ministry for the Diocese of Peoria, and Father Thomas Loya, pastor of Annunciation of the Mother of God Byzantine Catholic Parish in Homer Glen, radio personality, and well-known speaker on St. John Paul II’s Theology of the Body.

“Our retreat day was born out of a need to help the students see they are in a bigger community of believers connected by Jesus,” said Dana Brooks, regional director of religious education for the Galesburg and Macomb vicariates of the diocese. The planning committee also involves people from the Rock Island and Kewanee vicariates.

“Our aim is to help the students see God in all their relationships and if they can see Him, have the courage backed up by knowledge to seek Him without embarrassment,” she told The Catholic Post.

Then they hope the teens will take what they have found to others as “evangelizers of the Good News.”

In addition to Plaag, Blake Matson of Lynn Center will give personal testimony about the love found in families and friendships. Matson studies public relations and plays football for Illinois College in Jacksonville and is the founder of Child Life Charities.

Brooks said Father Loya will draw a correlation between relationships with family and friends and the love of the Holy Trinity.

There also will be time to enjoy Camp Summit, a 65-acre Christian youth camp with a zip-line and many outdoor activities.

Registration is limited to 100 and open to teens in ninth through 12th grade. Brooks said preference will be given to youth from the four vicariates planning the day, but “we’re not going to turn away kids.”

The cost is $20 for registrations received before Feb. 20, and $25 after. For more information, contact Brooks at jndbrooks@gmail.com or (309) 371-9448.

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