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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Tyler Tracey from St. Frances Cabrini Parish led the middle schoolers in worship music during the weekend.
BASIC leaders Murphy and Antonio performed a powerful skit about God sculpting his people into who wants them to be, prior to Adoration.
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.