Service projects, retreats offer Lenten spiritual renewal
March 8, 2022
Men on a retreat walk through a garden praying the Stations of the Cross in a garden at Holy Name Passionist Retreat Center in Houston. (File photo by James Ramos/Herald)
HOUSTON — Young adults in their 20s and 30s are invited to take part in a day of service on March 26 during the Lenten season on the theme “Come to Know Love” organized by the Office of Young Adult and Campus Ministry.
Others are invited to select from a plethora of retreats at various locations throughout the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston to replenish their spirits.
Daniel Cardinal DiNardo said, “I suggest that more of our people avail themselves of the opportunity of a yearly retreat, either as part of a parish group, a family retreat or a personal day apart from our frenzied lives to allow the Word of God to address you.”
The Young Adult Day of Service 2022 is set for March 26 at St. Thomas More Catholic Church (10330 Hillcroft St., Houston).
Angie Pometto, director for the Office of Young Adult and Campus Ministry, said, “For the first time, we will have all young adults who attend the English or Spanish program to do service together in one place.”
The day starts at 8:30 a.m. registration, 9 a.m. opening Mass along with a welcome and introduction afterward, she said. Then the service project will begin at 10:30 a.m. with participants packaging food for the global Rise Against Hunger experience.
“When we’ve done Young Adult Days of Service in the past, we all came together for a Mass to start the day, and then the whole group would split up and go to 20 different locations in the surrounding area to serve. This year, I wanted to host a service event where we could all stay together in one place and serve as one young adult community,” Pometto said. “This will be the first time we will have young adults from the English and Hispanic young adult communities working together on one project, and I believe there will be a real beauty in that unity.”
Pometto said the office chose to work with Rise Against Hunger because it helps worldwide and knows how to provide a service event that will effectively incorporate numerous volunteers.
“We’re anticipating around 150 total people to attend Young Adult Day of Service, and I believe Rise Against Hunger will help make sure that all 150 people feel like they are contributing to the project. With everyone working together, we’ll be packaging meals to feed more than 75,000 people around the world,” she said.
The office also thanked the Scanlan Foundation, which provided a grant with the purpose of involving young adults in mission and service. After the service project, the group will join for lunch and close the day out with a reflection speaker (available in English or Spanish) and time for small group discussions.
“I hope that this new format will provide some extra time for connection, community and prayer. And I’m very excited to have all young adults, both English- and Spanish-speakers, working together on one project,” Pometto said.
The cost for the day is $35 for those who register by March 12. The price includes lunch and a t-shirt. Registration is available online at www.archgh.org/yaday. For more information, contact the Office of Young Adult and Campus Ministry at firstname.lastname@example.org or 713-741-8778.
Other Lenten events are scheduled by various retreat centers ranging from overnight events costing hundreds of dollars to free events, including a Taize prayer service on April 9, Saturday at St. Cecilia Catholic Church (11720 Joan of Arc Dr., Houston).
Emmaus Spirituality Center, reincarnated from the former Cenacle Retreat House, is hosting a four-day, three-night Lenten silent retreat called “Seeds in our COVID Time” from March 21 to 24. Costing $543 including rooms and meals, the retreat is at Holy Name Retreat Center at 430 Bunker Hill. The main speakers and directors will be Jacqueline Loh and Bishop Emeritus Ronald Gilmore of Kansas. Loh is from the Archdiocese of Vancouver, Canada, who founded Grace that Reigns Society, a parish missions and retreats ministry. Bishop Gilmore serves as spiritual director with Grace that Reigns.
Emmaus Spirituality Executive Director Mary Pierson said, “We realize that the community needs us now more than ever. People are suffering from isolation, seeking mindfulness and purpose, and we need to be here for them.”
The center is also co-sponsoring both virtual and in-person events, including the Taize prayer event at St. Cecilia along with the Chapelwood Methodist Church choir. “Our goal, as well as the Cenacle Sisters’ goal, was to remain deeply embedded in the St. Ignatius principles, but to work together ecumenically,” Pierson said.
For more information for events and spiritual direction, visit www.emmausspiritualitycenter.com
The Christian Renewal Center (CRC), located at 1515 Hughes Rd. in Dickinson, was set to offer a free pre-Lent mission by Director Kim Brown on March 1. Then each Tuesday during Lent from 6 to 7 p.m., the CRC will host a Holy Hour with Exposition, confession and a reflection inside the chapel. Health guidelines will be in place, and temperatures will be checked at the door.
Other retreats at CRC for costs will be a Lenten Teen and Parent Silent Retreat from March 25 to 27 as well as an adult Lenten Silent Retreat on April 1 to 3 with guided meditations. For prices and registrations, visit www.retreatcentercrc.org.
For a list of retreat centers in the Archdiocese, visit www.archgh.org/resources/retreats. Contact your local parish for parish-based Lenten events, such as days of recollection, penance services and more. †