Calling all middle school superheroes: Mountain Madness needs YOU!

Rocio Madera

Calling all middle school superheroes: Mountain Madness needs your superpowers!  

The Archdiocese of Denver is inviting all middle school students to its annual Mountain Madness youth event, which will take place this Saturday, Feb. 13. While this year’s conference will be a little different because of the pandemic and students not being able to experience the traditional outdoor retreat in the Colorado mountains, Mountain Madness will be hosted virtually and livestreamed to various parishes throughout the archdioceses, making it open to everybody. The archdiocese has creatively found ways for all attendees to have an encounter with Christ and a fruitful experience.  

Every year, the Mountain Madness conference aims to evangelize middle schoolers and lead them into a deeper relationship with Christ through energetic keynotes, worship, confession, fellowship, and adoration, among other activities.

This year’s theme, “Saints Among Us – The Real Superheroes,” based on John 14:12, “Whoever believes in me will do the works that I do, and will do greater ones than these,” is intended to show these young students that each of us are called by Christ into a life of holiness. Through the grace given to us in our baptism, we are given the power to do great things and live out our faith in a powerful way. By looking at the lives of the many saints that have gone before us, we can be inspired to also live the holiness we are called to.  

“By attending Mountain Madness, students will have the opportunity to see the greater Church at work,” said Michelle Peters, Director of Youth, Young Adult and Campus Ministry at the Archdioceses of Denver. “Often, they see the Church through their own parish and don’t realize that there are other people their own age who believe the same things they believe and stand for the same faith they have. …They will learn about the universal call to holiness that we have all been created with and they will be given the opportunity to grow in their relationship with Christ.”  

To fulfill this unique experience, this year’s conference will feature host Paul J. Kim. Kim is one of the most popular international Catholic youth and young adult speakers, who has impacted people of all ages in 46 states of the U.S. and seven countries over the past decade. With his many talents that range from music to inspirational talks, he communicates the Gospel message of Christ in an engaging, entertaining, and life-changing way.  

Mountain Madness will take place Feb. 13 from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., concluding with a special Mass. All students who would like to participate should contact their local parish or the Archdiocese of Denver Office of Evangelization and Family Life Ministries at 303-715-3178.  

Don’t miss this great opportunity to grow deeply in your faith and be ready to show off the superpowers God has gifted you!  

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COMING UP: From rare books to online resources, archdiocesan library has long history of service to students

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National Library Week, observed this year from April 4 to April 10, is the perfect occasion to highlight the essential role of libraries and library staff in strengthening our communities – and our very own Cardinal Stafford Library at the Archdiocese of Denver is no exception.  

Since 1932, the library has served as a religious, intellectual, and cultural resource for seminarians and students at St. John Vianney Seminary in Denver.

As the library of the seminary, we are always responsible for the four dimensions of the priestly formation of our seminarians. The library is charged with being responsible to all the divisions of the Seminary: the Lay Division (Catholic Biblical School and Catholic Catechetical School), the Permanent Deacon Formation Division, and the Priestly Formation Division, said Stephen Sweeney, Library Director. 

In addition to being one of the main resources to the seminary, the Cardinal Stafford Library serves the needs of other educational programs in the Archdiocese of Denver, including the St. Francis School for Deacons, the Biblical School, the Catechetical School and the Augustine Institute. While the library is currently closed to the public due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was previously open to anyone, giving people access to more than 150,000 books, audios, and videos. 

The Cardinal Stafford Library was named after Cardinal J. Francis Stafford, Apostolic Penitentiary at the Vatican and former Archbishop of Denver from 1986 to 1996. He was a dedicated advocate of the library and of Catholic education.

In 1932, the library was established by two seminarians, Maurice Helmann and Barry Wogan. While they were not the first seminarians to conceive the idea of establishing a library, they are considered the founders for undertaking its organization.  

Since its founding, the library has grown and compiled a fine collection of resources on Catholic theology, Church history, biblical studies, liturgy, canon law, religious art, philosophy, and literature. Special collections include over 500 rare books dating back to the early 16th century and many periodicals dating back to the 1800s. The oldest publication in the library is a book on excommunication published in 1510. The Cardinal Stafford Library is also home to various relics and holds bills personally written by some of those saints.  

Over the past few years, the library has undergone a process of beautification through various renovations that include improvements in lighting, flooring, and even furniture restoration. During these difficult times, libraries are doing their best to adapt to our changing world by expanding their digital resources to reach those who don’t have access to them from home. 

The Cardinal Stafford Library provides a community space; we subscribe to about 200 print journals and have access to literally thousands more through online resources available on campus computers, Sweeney added. “I have been the Library Director for almost 11 years. I absolutely love my work, especially participating in the intellectual formation of the faithful from all of the dioceses we serve”.  

For more information on the Cardinal Stafford Library, visit: 

Featured photo by Andrew Wright