Step back into the rhythm of the life we were meant for

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

by Deacon Dana Nearmyer

Jesus himself gave his life, so that we might be with him forever.

Forever does not start at our death. Jesus’ desire for closeness is both literally now and forever.

Jesus wants deep, personal conversation with you today and forever. He talks to us in the Scriptures read at Mass. He talks as you prayerfully read Scripture in your easy chair and sitting by a lake.

God whispers a lot, and in many ways. He listens as well. He listens as we pray our meal and evening prayers. He hears our cries of loneliness.

Throughout time, God has never abandoned his people; he is brokenhearted that we often feel abandoned and alone. He passionately wants us to dial into both his speaking and listening frequency.

Camp Tekakwitha is an excellent place for us to dial into both his speaking and listening frequencies. Whether at our new special-needs family camp, fifth- and sixth-grade camps, junior high camp, family camp or our high school Max and Extreme camps, we work to dial into both his speaking and listening frequency.

We drop down the compression of modern life. We are in nature. We can see the stars and hear the birds. We listen to each other and to God. We talk to each other and to God. We make space to pray before our adventures, to process the experience and then to thank God for the gift of our adventures.

Camp has a healthy rhythm of faith, friends and fun. Away from camp, campers carry a template of that rhythm with them. In modern living, that rhythm is often lost, compressed or unrecognizable because we prioritize volume over relationship.

Recently, our family had five soccer games, a wedding reception, two basketball games, a concert, Mass, a birthday party and many errands to complete all in one weekend. It is tough to divide and conquer and not collapse after a while.

Camp reminds us to celebrate each other and to drink in the moments, even when our schedule gets lopsided. By praying before the activities, celebrating each other, and laughing and having fun, we grow closer to God and each other, rather than growing apart.

Many of our past counselors and campers are raising families that treasure a template that seeks the rhythms of faith, friends and fun. They have brought a culture of both speaking and listening to God and each other into their lives and homes.

We would love to host your loved ones at Camp Tekakwitha this summer. Check out our website and video at: www.archkck.org/camp.

A former camper made this touching video about what camp means to him and his friends years after being campers. Please check it out at: youtu.be/6OoXXf DimVw.

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