Seek out opportunities to encounter Jesus

Deacon Dana Nearmyer is the lead consultant for the archdiocesan office of evangelization and Catholic formation of youth

by Deacon Dana Nearmyer

Who do you really enjoy being around? Who really gets you? Who makes you laugh?

The people that we live with aren’t always those people. Relationships are challenging. Physical proximity to someone does not mean that we are emotionally, psychologically or spiritually connected.

Our archdiocesan key initiatives or super priorities are to create a culture of evangelization, strengthen marriage and family, and build relationships through corporal and spiritual works of mercy.

We have distilled those into an easy to remember theme: Enflame Our Heart, Home and Community.

If you are not excited about a restaurant, you will not tell folks about it. If we are not especially excited about the freedom and joy that we find in our relationship with Jesus, we are probably not going to be able to very effectively share the Gospel with others.

I am sure that my biggest personal priority should be having a vibrant relationship with Jesus Christ. Jesus is a living person who seeks deep, intimate, personal relationship with each of us, his children.

At Camp Tekakwitha, NCYC, SPO, CRHP, Men Under Construction and many other parish and archdiocesan experiences, we encourage and nurture individuals to really know Jesus Christ and work daily to build an eternal friendship with Jesus as a living person, not an idea or historical figure.

Honest prayer and thoughtful Scripture reading are key. This is the first step in creating a culture of evangelization. I am praying that a great many parishioners will make their biggest personal priority a further developing of a vibrant, personal relationship with Jesus Christ. 

The Camp Tekakwitha offerings: Kateri (5th-6th grades), Junior High (7-8 grades), Max and Extreme camp (9th-12th grades), family camps — including those with special needs — and the Tekakwitha women’s retreat are great ways to jump-start a vibrant, personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

This year’s theme is: “The Way of a Saint: Prayer, Care and Share.” We are focused on knowing Jesus, strengthen our family ties and reaching out to others.

Check out the website at: www.archkck.org/camp to sign up, see videos and get more information.

Our goals of strengthening marriages and families and building relationship through corporal and spiritual works of mercy will be fulfilled if we have Jesus Christ as our daily strength and guide.

Camp Tekakwitha is focused on accompanying individuals in building vibrant, personal relationships with Jesus Christ. And so do all great retreat experiences.  

Seek out a retreat. Enjoying Jesus as a friend takes work. You have tough conversations that need to be had.

With Jesus by your side, family and community life will fall into place.  

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