By Tim Bishop
HUTTONSVILLE—Sophomore students from each of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston’s seven Catholic high schools gathered at the Bishop Hodges Pastoral Center in Huttonsville for the annual Summit Retreat. The retreat seeks to enhance not only the faith of the students but also their leadership skills. The retreat was held April 11-13 and April 13-15. The retreat is a collaboration between the diocesan Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministry, the Department of Catholic Schools and the staff and missionaries at the Bishop Hodges Pastoral Center. Robert Perron, director of the diocesan Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministry, said the retreat encouraged youth to become leaders in their community and featured nationally known speaker, Mike Patin. “Patin is a regular presenter at the University of Notre Dame summer leadership Institute,” he said. “The goal is to help our sophomores as they continue through their high school years to become the leaders that God created them to be. It was an amazing three days where the young people not only learned leadership skills but had an opportunity to have an encounter with God.” In addition to keynote presentations, the retreat featured workshops focusing on self awareness, leadership, communication development and engaging others with a positive attitude. Students also attended Mass, one of which was celebrated by Msgr. Frederick P. Annie, V.G. They also received the sacrament of penance and spent time in adoration. Msgr. Annie said the retreat was an uplifting experience as he gathered with the youth of the diocese. “It is great to see our young people enjoying themselves together and learning about their faith at the same time,” he said. “Our Youth and Young Adult Team hit this one out of the park.” Perron said the retreat was a huge success due to the hard work and collaboration of several diocesan offices. “The collaboration,” he said, “between the office of Catholic Schools and the Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministry was, I believe, a model for how these offices should collaborate around the country. In the end, we all have the same goal of helping young people fall in love with Jesus and his church.” Superintendent of Catholic Schools, Vincent de Paul Schmidt agreed: “Many of the resources within the diocese came together to benefit our sophomores at the Summit. The offices worked together to share ideas and develop the most robust opportunity possible for our students as they transition from underclassmen to Catholic leaders of their respective high schools.” The Summit Retreat is held annually for students. For more information, contact Heather Bise at (304) 233-0880 ext. 311.
Courtesy Photo Youth take part in a leadership excercise during the annual Summit Retreat at the Bishop Hodges Pastoral Center in Huttonsville April 11-15.