Don’t miss out on summer camp at Annunciation Heights

By Topher Aderhold

Topher Aderhold is the Camp Director at Annunciation Heights.

“Every day that passes, I fall more desperately in love with the mountains… I am ever more determined to climb the mountains, to scale the mighty peaks, to feel that pure joy which can only be felt in the mountains.”  – Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati

When it comes to commentary on the joy that is found in the mountains, Frassati said it best. Up in the mountains near Estes Park, located a stone’s throw from historic Camp St. Malo, a new Catholic youth and family camp — Annunciation Heights — is making monumental plans for Summer Camp 2019, the inaugural Summer Camp experience for The Heights.

While the calendar reads January, and snow and freezing temps are the norm up here at 9,000 feet, summer is coming, and we couldn’t be more excited. We’re creating a place where young people will have the opportunity to leave the busyness of everyday life behind (including their cell phones!). With the guidance of amazing, top-notch young adults, campers will be challenged to grow, to learn, to try new things, and to have loads of fun. Campers, most importantly, will make lasting friendships, and they’ll be encouraged to grow in their relationship with Jesus Christ.

While there are countless amazing activities on property — zip-lining, rock climbing, canoeing, archery, fishing, sports, crafts, etc. — we’ll also be taking our campers off camp. With Rocky Mountain National Park just a two minute drive away, campers will be led by counselors into the wilderness on day hikes and, for some, up to the summits of peaks. Hikes will be age-appropriate — to conquer a mountain, regardless of the elevation, is an accomplishment that campers will cherish.

There is indeed a pure joy that can only be felt in the mountains. Surrounding our property on all sides are peaks of all sizes, with Longs Peak — the famous 14’er — standing the tallest right in our front yard. Added to the stunning views, the joy of the mountains, and the awesome activities we’ll be doing at The Heights, is our shared Catholic faith — it’s Jesus Christ. He is the true Source and Summit.

In mid-January, the Annunciation Heights community welcomed our new chaplain, Fr. Donatian Kaigoma. Fr. Donatian’s presence, and the sacraments he’ll be offering for our campers and staffers every day, will create an atmosphere in which all of us — campers and staffers alike — will grow in our love for Jesus Christ and His Church.

Yes, it’s winter, but summer is coming, and we’re absolutely thrilled to welcome you to the mountain of Annunciation Heights.

We invite you to come be a part of our inaugural Summer Camp experience — an experience your camper will never forget. Summer Camp at Annunciation Heights is being offered for campers entering 4th-12th grade. With only five one-week sessions being offered this first summer, space is limited.

In closing, to once more quote Blessed Pier Giorgio Frasatti, “Verso l’alto!”

To the Heights!



COMING UP: Reencounter Your Mission: Mass dispensation to be lifted on Pentecost

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In the early Church, after the Mass had ended, the Latin words used to send people forth were “Ite, missa est” (literally meaning “Go, she—meaning you, the Church—has been sent”). The word “Mass” takes its namesake from “Missa,” which is related to the word “Missio” – the English root of the word “mission.” 

At her core, the Church exists for a sole reason: mission. Her mission, of which we are all apart, is to bring Christ to all people and, as he commanded us, “make disciples of all nations” (Mt 28:19). And as Archbishop Aquila writes of the Church in this week’s Easter reflection, “Everything we do, every teaching and practice, every doctrine and devotion, is for the singular purpose of helping every person encounter and be transformed by the love of God for which they are made. This mission is first Christ’s, given to him by his Father, which he then entrusted to us, his Church.”

Your mission as a Catholic – should you choose to accept it – begins at the Mass. It is where each of us encounters Christ and where he replenishes our spirits so that we, too, may go and make disciples. It is fitting and even providential that the Mass dispensation is being lifted just as the Archdiocese of Denver embarks on a mission of renewal. Indeed, it’s safe to say it was God’s plan all along, whether any of us knew it or not.

The Lord is calling each of us to mission as we all rencounter Mass this weekend, on Pentecost. Just as the Holy Spirit descended upon the Apostles, that same spirit descends upon us each week at the Mass. It is what equips us and strengthens our resolve to be witnesses of faith, hope and love in a world that so desperately desires it. In order to face these apostolic times we live in as described in the below pastoral note and article and proclaim the Gospel as Christ’s apostles, we must find sustenance first and foremost in the Mass.

Our Apostolic Moment
From Christendom times to apostolic times

For more information about the return to Mass, visit