Mountain Madness mania

Aaron Lambert

Middle schoolers from all around the archdiocese gathered at YMCA of the Rockies last weekend for the annual youth retreat, Mountain Madness. It got a little crazy at times — expected, considering its name — but overall, it proved the next generation of Catholics are full of zeal and fervor for their faith. Denver Catholic writer/photographer Aaron Lambert went up all-day Saturday to capture some of the madness.

All photos by Aaron Lambert

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Kirby (left) and Nicholas (right) from Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish sought to leave their mark on the weekend by making a flag out of cardboard and hoisting it on a tree stump.

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Jason Weinrich, director of youth ministry for Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish, leads a few students in a rendition of “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” outside of their cabin as a student strums along on a ukulele. Mountain Madness is a chance for students and leaders to bond and grow in fellowship with one another.

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The acoustic band Popple, consisting of Dan and Kyle, put on a concert for the students Saturday afternoon that combined worship music with humor and even some top 40 songs. They were a hit with the kids.

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Father Randy Dollins, Vicar General for the Archdiocese of Denver, talked to the students about prayer and adoration and served as the principal Mass celebrant for the weekend.

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Students were given leisure time between sessions on Saturday. The youth group from Immaculate Heart of Mary took a short hike around the YMCA property.

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Tyler Tracey from St. Frances Cabrini Parish led the middle schoolers in worship music during the weekend.

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BASIC leaders Murphy and Antonio performed a powerful skit about God sculpting his people into who wants them to be, prior to Adoration.

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Adoration was the highlight of the weekend. Students raised their hands in worship toward the Blessed Sacrament as Father Dollins processed around the room. Leaders walked around handing out tissues to those who were moved to tears by being in the presence of the Lord.

COMING UP: Youths’ ‘thirst’ for Christ quenched at Steubenville of the Rockies

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Thousands of youth gathered June 24-26 at Crowne Plaza DIA for the annual Steubenville of the Rockies youth conference. The theme for this year’s conference was “Thirst,” and featured talks by several speakers, including Sarah Swafford, Jason Evert and Brian Greenfield. Youth representing parishes and dioceses from all over the country were in attendance, and were challenged throughout the weekend to grow in their own faith. A special Mass said by Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila on Saturday morning was one of the highlights of the weekend (listen to it here), as was the powerful Saturday night Eucharistic adoration holy hour. Denver Catholic was at the conference to capture these two special moments of the weekend.

DENVER, CO, June 25, 2016 - Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila processes in and kneels at the altar before the Saturday morning Mass at Steubenville of the Rockies. (Photo by Aaron Lambert/Denver Catholic)

Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila processes in and kneels at the altar before the Saturday morning Mass at Steubenville of the Rockies. (Photo by Aaron Lambert/Denver Catholic)

DENVER, CO, June 25, 2016 - Over 3,000 young people from all over the country were in attendance at Steubenville of the Rockies, which was held at the convention center at Crowne Plaza DIA.

Thousands of young people from all over the country were in attendance at Steubenville of the Rockies, which was held at the convention center at Crowne Plaza DIA. (Photo by Aaron Lambert/Denver Catholic)

DENVER, CO, June 25, 2016 - During his homily, Archbishop Aquila reflected upon the Gospel reading of the day, which recounted the story of the centurion, and implored the youth in attendance to maintain that same demeanor of faith in their own lives.

During his homily, Archbishop Aquila reflected upon the Gospel reading of the day, which recounted the story of the centurion, and implored the youth in attendance to maintain that same demeanor of faith in their own lives. (Photo by Aaron Lambert/Denver Catholic)

DENVER, CO, June 25, 2016 - Worship and liturgical music for the weekend was provided by a band of musicians led by St. Thomas More worship leader Ben Walther (center).

Worship and liturgical music for the weekend was provided by a band of musicians led by St. Thomas More worship leader Ben Walther (center). (Photo by Aaron Lambert/Denver Catholic)

DENVER, CO, June 25, 2016 - Archbishop prepares the gifts for consecration during the Communion prayer.

Archbishop prepares the gifts for consecration during the Communion prayer. (Photo by Aaron Lambert/Denver Catholic)

DENVER, CO, June 25, 2016 - Archbishop Aquila presents the host for consecration during the Communion prayer.

Archbishop Aquila presents the host for consecration during the Communion prayer. (Photo by Aaron Lambert/Denver Catholic)

DENVER, CO, June 25, 2016 - Archbishop Aquila blesses the congregation while processing out after the celebration of the Mass.

Archbishop Aquila blesses the congregation while processing out after the celebration of the Mass. (Photo by Aaron Lambert/Denver Catholic)

DENVER, CO, June 25, 2016 - Father Jim Crisman stands at the altar before the Blessed Sacrament during adoration. Adoration was the most powerful part of Saturday evening at the Steubenville conference.

Father Jim Crisman stands at the altar before the Blessed Sacrament during adoration. Adoration was the most powerful part of Saturday evening at the Steubenville conference. (Photo by Aaron Lambert/Denver Catholic)

DENVER, CO, June 25, 2016 - Father Crisman led a Eucharistic Procession around the convention center during adoration.

Father Crisman led a Eucharistic Procession around the convention center during adoration. (Photo by Aaron Lambert/Denver Catholic)

DENVER, CO, June 25, 2016 - Many youth lost themselves during adoration and lifted their hands in worship. After the music had ceased, the congregation continued to softly chant prayers.

Many youth lost themselves during adoration and lifted their hands in worship. After the music had ceased, the congregation continued to softly chant prayers. (Photo by Aaron Lambert/Denver Catholic)