Not a team member this year, I’m afraid. It really is such an immense commitment, to attend all those preparatory meetings in Orange County, and to devote so much time and energy to this very special weekend. I am in awe of every single person who volunteers. So when my St. Joseph Youth Ministry Core Team member Eugene Moon told me he had signed up, I felt a great mix of emotions. Pride, that he would be representing our parish at the retreat. Joy, because I knew what a great connection he had made with other candidates last year when he attended his Cursillo and I was a team member. Excitement, because I knew he would make an even greater connection with the team members, for I predicted that there was something special there that they had in common. And finally relief, because I felt a little off the hook as far as volunteering this year was concerned!
So as I watched Eugene take off early from our church’s youth group classes every Sunday to take the long and familiar drive to KMCC, my heart was with him. And more than a few times, I was a little jealous! I knew what an amazing experience he would have in these meetings leading up to the retreat. And I missed my brothers of old.
These emotions continued throughout the retreat and afterwards too. This year we had not only Eugene on the team, but three candidates from St. Joseph. I felt that I had played a part in signing them up, and a part of me yearned to spend this weekend with them and to witness their spiritual reawakening and growth. But I was able to congratulate them afterwards, and I will be with them on their fourth day as they live out their newly strengthened faith in our community back home.