July 28, 2010 // Uncategorized

Youths’ faith bolstered

Bishop Rhoades celebrates Mass for Antioch youth, retreatants

By Diane Freeby

MISHAWAKA — “Awesome!” “Epic!” “Inspiring!”

Those are some of the words used by area teens to describe the time they shared with 2,000 other young people during a weekend youth conference at Franciscan University of Steubenville, six hours from South Bend in eastern Ohio.

Fifty-one kids from the Antioch and South Bend St. Anthony’s youth groups boarded a bus from St. Bavo in Mishawaka early Friday, July 16, and returned in time Sunday evening for Mass celebrated with Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades.

Chip and Virginia Leinen lead the Antioch youth group, and this year marks the third time they have offered the trip to Steubenville. According to Chip, 15 young people attended his first year, and that number doubled last year. Next year, he expects to take two busloads of young people to what many refer to as a “life-changing” event.

Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades extends a blessing to Christa Shoemaker and Nathan Krakowski, both of Queen of Peace Parish in Mishawaka. The couple is engaged to be married on Oct. 2, 2011, on the feast of the Guardian Angels.

“It was amazing to watch the transformation in the teens this weekend,” said Chip. “They shared stories on the bus ride back, and it was amazing to hear about some really broken lives and the peace they were able to find this weekend. What I heard from the guys, when we met in the evening, was what they felt all weekend long was love. Love of the Eucharist, love from others … everything was surrounded by that love, I guess.”

Many of the young people who participated are from either Marian or Saint Joseph’s High School.

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