Once again, students from our Franciscan Youth/High School ministry of Archbishop Curley High School were led by two Our Lady of the Angels Province Friars and Director of FYM at Curley (Baltimore, MD), Fr. Matt Foley, OFM Conv. (2nd row far right) & Religion Teacher and Campus Minister of our other Franciscan Youth/High School ministry of St. Francis High School (Athol Springs, NY), Br. Nick Romeo, OFM Conv.(3rd row 3rd from left) on Friar Matt’s 7th “Encounter The Gospel of Life” Service Camp, Jul 8-14, 2017.
Fr. Matt said it was his largest group as 36 students, 4 alums, 3 teachers, a parent, and Friar Nick joined him for his “favorite week of the year.” As he stated last year, “Encounter is not your typical service camp. It focused on Direct-Relational ministry opportunities, where the participant actually work with & get to know the people served. We believe that we will be served by the individuals that we came to serve, as we encounter Christ in ‘disguise’.”
This year Friar Matt said, “The days are long and the sleep is short. The weather is hot and it is easy to sense the palpable presence of God everywhere! The first time I brought a group, as I know that young men (and friars) can be competitive, to help them bond their goals that week was to “win Encounter.” It has become a running joke with a number of friends and youth ministers. This week I watched my guys lead prayer, share musical talent, dye their hair, recruit guys from other parishes to be honorary Curley men, be gentle with the disabled, be kind to children, shave their eyebrows, recognize and share the gifts God has given them, be patient with the elderly, advocate for the poor and marginalized, sing the Curley Alma Mater onstage, call me out for “cheating” at UNO and bond with their brothers in ways that inspire me more and more. Yes Curley “won” Encounter and because of that everyone else could too! I can’t wait for Encounter 2018!”