On Friday, January 17, Christ the King Catholic Church, the Shrine of St. Therese, St. Therese School, and the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart (as well as other parishes) joined together and hosted a retreat with the National Evangelization Team (NET) Ministries for 75+ young people from all over the Diocese of Pueblo.
Each year, God calls 175 young men and women (ages 18-28) to join NET Ministries, to devote a whole 9 months of traveling the entire United States, leaving behind their family, friends, and jobs, to provide retreats for 125,000 middle school and high school youth. These events are undoubtedly filled with the Holy Spirit as the leaders hop from city to city in a van, with one backpack and the will of God on their shoulders.
This was a retreat that went from 10:00 am- 8:30 pm, and not a dull moment arose. These NET Ministers evangelized by connecting with the youth through their vulnerability in their personal witness to the Catholic faith. They delivered the Gospel with great love in the eyes of the young who are craving a deeper relationship with Christ. They also had small groups, which brought about intellectual and spiritual searching, which was then later ignited with Eucharistic Adoration and the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
A young girl, who was so scared to attend the retreat, later expressed,
“I am so glad I stayed/ came to the retreat, Adoration filled me with so much joy and I cannot wait to tell my family and friends all about it! I hope we do this again next year!”
It was very evident that the NET Ministers felt a calling from God to become missionaries for NET, and we are so glad they gave their “Yes” to serving God’s perfect plan for their lives.
“Since 1981, NET teams have led over 34,000 retreats and ministered to more than 2.1 million young Catholics,” and it is still growing (netusa.org). Even some of the youth on the retreat expressed their interest in being a part of this incredible ministry to follow Christ. This was such an inspiring event for not only the students but the parents, NET leaders, and parish members chaperoning as well. We felt this was such an success that we hope to have them back again soon!
Contributor: Courtney Lewis is currently a senior at Colorado State University-Pueblo and will be earning her Bachelor of Science in Sociology this May. Her dream is to earn a Master of Arts in Catholic Theology and one day become a High School Theology teacher. She is engaged to a wonderful young Catholic man and they will be getting married at her hometown church, Immaculate Heart of Mary in Northglenn this July. She has a huge love for the Eucharist and the Nativity scene, which is the reason why she feels connected to her Patron Saint, St. Francis of Assisi. This year is the first year she has taken the biggest step towards her calling from God and that is to lead high schoolers closer to Christ by taking on the position of High School Discipleship Coordinator (Youth Minister) at Christ the King Catholic Church.