Claire Kenney
Freelance Writer
September 27, 2022 // Diocese

St. Charles Borromeo’s Young Adult Ministry Hosts Second Retreat 

Claire Kenney
Freelance Writer

When St. Charles Borromeo’s pastor, Father Tom Shoemaker, returned from a meeting regarding the need for enhanced young adult formation within the Church, he communicated this need to current St. Charles’ Youth and Young Adult Ministry Coordinator, Stacey Huneck.

Ultimately, these events led to St. Charles’ inaugural young adult retreat last year entitled Abundant Life Retreat. Due to the success of this retreat in 2021, the parish decided to offer a second Abundant Life Retreat this year. 

“This retreat is an opportunity to sort of set aside the busyness and open ourselves up to encounter God and realize he’s walking us through those sufferings,” said Huneck.

As young adults, which the United States Conference of Bishops defines as those between the ages of approximately 18 and 39, experience the challenges that come with entering mature adulthood, they need to be adequately prepared in faith to successfully meet these challenges.

“Young adulthood is a time that many people really encounter suffering for the first time in their life,” Huneck said. “In our pain, we can feel that God is distant or doesn’t care, especially if we feel like we are carrying our crosses alone.”

Sam Sliger is a young adult on the Abundant Life Retreat planning team. This need to equip young adults with the mature faith required to meet mature challenges drives Sliger in his work on this team.

“Maturity brings more diverse and complicated problems that only through the Redeemer can be turned into something of value,” he said.

The 2022 Abundant Life Retreat was hosted at St. Felix Catholic Center from Sept. 23 to Sept. 25. The center, a site where Blessed Solanus Casey frequently prayed and reflected, is a peaceful setting located on the grounds of historic St. Felix Friary in Huntington. Approximately 45 young adults attended the 2022 retreat.

“This retreat is a chance to experience the love of the Good Shepherd in community and to respond to the life of abundance that He directs us to in the Gospel of John 10:10,” Huneck continued.

The Abundant Life Retreat featured small group discussion, Mass and adoration, group activities, and opportunities for individual reflection.

By allowing time away from day-to-day life, this itinerary facilitated relationships with God for participants.

“It’s always nice to retreat from the world to focus on your relationship with God,” expressed participant Mike Havens.

The retreat also facilitated options for fellow participants to grow in relationship with each other.

“It was a beautiful opportunity to grow deeper in relationship with the local young adult community and people I would not normally encounter in my day-to-day life,” said participant Anna Laisure.

It even allowed participants to meet new friends and make new connections.

“There were all these people that I didn’t know around me that I had so much in common with,” Sliger commented. “Now that I’ve been on retreat, I finally had a chance to meet them.”

By the end of the retreat, many participants better understood the meaning behind suffering, including participant Catherine Carroll.

“It is possible to find joy in our suffering,” said Carroll.

In 2023, the retreat will be held Oct. 20 to Oct. 22. For more information, contact Stacey Huneck at [email protected] or visit

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