During its largest weekend youth retreat yet, Mountain Madness drew middle school students to Estes Park Feb. 13-15 for an encounter with Christ through speakers, worship, confession, fellowship and adoration.
Some 850 sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders attended the retreat at the YMCA of the Rockies to learn about the call to sainthood. That’s an increase from the 800 youths who attended last year, said Michelle Peters, director of Youth, Youth Adult and Campus Ministry for the Archdiocese of Denver.
“It was the biggest one yet,” Peters said. “The big message was educating them about our call to holiness and how we’re all called to be saints.”
Youths also responded when they were asked to be open to God’s vocational call for them.
“The saints really just chose to love and answer their call to holiness,” Peters said. “We’re just asking them to be open.”
Talks during the retreat centered around the theme “Saint Among Us” and included “saint training” tips such as a strong prayer life and openness to God’s will. Priests also traveled to hear youths’ confessions—an estimated 500 total absolutions were given—and to celebrate Mass at the end of the retreat.
The next Mountain Madness retreat will be held in February 2016 in Estes Park.