November 9, 2011 // Local

St. Vincent Parish hosts Hispanic youth retreat

Father Glenn Kohrman answers questions about the priesthood and motorcycles at the Hispanic Youth Retreat at St. Vincent de Paul Parish in Elkhart on Oct. 22.

ELKHART — The St. Vincent de Paul Parish priests and laity held a Hispanic Youth Retreat at their Elkhart gym facilities on Oct. 22.

One hundred fifty youth attended. Throughout the day, there were talks by the priests and laity, music, video and Stations of the Cross. The retreat concluded with the celebration of Mass.

Father Matthew Coonan, Father Glenn Kohrman, Dagoberto Hernandez, María Santoyo and others sponsored the retreat and kept the participants in action, warm and well fed.

Father Coonan offered dynamics of which the youth freely volunteered and enjoyed.

Father Kohrman presented a testimonial about his vocation to the priesthood and held a question-and-answer segment.

Questions ranged from “Why did you become a priest?” and “Is it hard?” to “How much did you pay for your motorcycle?”

Father Kohrman reminded the youth to “never let anyone try to divide them from others,” explaining “under our skin we are all the same — all children of God,” he said.

He shared his love for the Sacred Heart of Jesus with the youth and said, “Jesus is the true friend who will never let you down.”

Lourdes Silva, from the Diocesan Office for Hispanic Ministry, animated the participants by sharing about Blessed John Paul II’s “Ecclesia en America” in which his exhortation is one to serve the needs of diverse cultures, taking into consideration their language and traditions.

Silva, also told the youth, “God made different colors and diversity for a reason. He wanted us to be this way. Be who God made you to be. Keep both languages. Practice your cultural traditions and learn those in the United States as well. It will help you all the more in what God has in store for your lives.”

The teens expressed joy throughout the full-day retreat.

The retreat organizers from the Hispanic Ministry expressed their thanks to all those who cooked, those who kept the music interesting for the youth, the sponsors, and all who made this retreat a reality. ¡Que Viva Cristo Rey!

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