Kepha’s last retreat was all about the spread of the Gospel.
A total of 20 men and boys attended the Truth and Charity Retreat at St Mark the Evangelist in Plano, TX. Half of those had never been to a Kepha event.
Truth and Charity are two extremely important elements of evangelization. If we do not spread the truth, we are uncharitable to those who have never heard God’s Word. Who are we to hold back God’s mercy out of fear of discomfort for ourselves?
The retreat kicked off with Mass and morning prayers. John Peter Yamauchi then talked on Evangelization by Word, discussing how important it is for us to speak, even if we are afraid of what others may think.
Dodgeball and confessions followed. Fr. Jack Hopka graciously heard our confessions (we had an actual screen this time, not a sleeping bag) while those not in the confessional played dodgeball. After confessions and dodgeball the Kephans prayed a rosary, then returned inside for an apologetics discussion.
Apologetics discussions are a new feature of the Apologetics Program. A Kephan gets up and leads a discussion of one of the questions of the Baltimore Catechism, exploring it in greater depth, and bringing in supporting material from Scripture or the Church Fathers. Our first apologetics discussion was on Q. 4: To gain the happiness of heaven we must know, love, and serve God.
Lunch was far too delicious for an organization which has mortification as a pillar. The Kephans then visited the nearby assisted living center (we found out later that it was not a nursing home) and sang for the residents.
We were blessed to have Fr. Michael Picard, LC, join us for the afternoon Saturday. Fr. Michael spoke on the Universal Call to Evangelization, how we must live out evangelization in our everyday lives, even in the little things.
After his talk the Kephans played more dodgeball, followed by the newly-dubbed Iron Will Trivia Challenge. Each of the four teams would pick someone or someplace that matched a category (e.g. saints), then the other teams would try to guess the person or place based on hints provided. The game still has some bugs to be worked out (“Unnamed Spouse” in reference to Noah’s wife was a questionable answer). The St. Peter team emerged victorious.
Dinner preceded Andrew Smith’s talk. He told several stories as examples of Evangelization by Deed, calling us to live out the Gospel message. After the talk the Kephans watched The Keys of the Kingdom, then retired for the evening.
At 2 am everyone stumbled out of bed for Yawns for Christ, spent an hour in front of the tabernacle, then returned to bed.
In the morning the adults came together for the Dad’s Discussion. Breakfast and Mass followed, at which Fr. Hopka gave a homily on evangelization, and how we are called to preach the Gospel in spite of strife that will arise within our own homes. After Mass, the Kephans gathered for Open Mic and the Kepha Rally Cry.
Thank you to those who prepared the food and to St Mark for letting us hold a Kepha retreat at the parish.