Black Catholic “Kujenga” Retreat – August 2014

During the weekend of August 1- 3, 2014, young people from the Archdiocese of Boston and various dioceses around New England participated in the annual Kujenga-Viongozi Black Catholic Youth retreat at Betania II Retreat Center in Medway, MA. This year, the retreat director was Fr. Chris Rhodes, from the Archdiocese of Louisville.   The theme was  “Blessed, Broken and Shared.”

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Fr. Rocco, Fr. Chris Rhodes, Fr. Martin

Kujenga Viongozi are Swahili (a language widely spoken in Africa) words that mean “to build leadership.” During the weekend, the young people had the opportunity to grow in their faith and develop leadership skills, in the Black Catholic tradition, with Christ at the very center.  In addition, they learned about the role of people of African descent in the history of the Catholic Church.

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Fr. Chris, Lorna DesRoses and some of the participants and mentors of the retreat, from St. Angela and St. Matthew parishes in Boston.

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Fr. Chris with a group from the Archdiocese of Fall River, MA.

This retreat was definitely an unforgettable weekend to the 75 participants, age 14-18 years old. It was an emotional but fun weekend! Some of the talks presented were touching and caused a lot of emotions among the participants, but these emotions helped them understand the real message as well as grow in their faith. In addition to prayer and faith development, participants also had fun with icebreakers and performances from their peers. Before each meal one of the participants would lead the group into prayer.   As part of their moment of prayer, the participants prayed the rosary at the outdoor rosary located at the Our Lady of Fatima Shrine in Holliston.

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Retreat participants during time of worship and praise.

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Retreat participants during icebreakers.

In addition to presentations by Fr. Chris Rhodes, Fr. Rocco and Fr. Martin (both from the Xaverian Mission), some highlights of this weekend retreat were the following: Witness talk by John Barros, Chief of Economic Development for the city of Boston, Times of Worship & Praise, Sacrament of Reconciliation and Kujenga Cafe Talent Show.

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Retreat MC Ryan Grace, Youth Leader Shawnee Baldwin, Fr. Rocco and youth from Hartford, CT.

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Fr. Chris with youth and mentors from Providence, RI.

For more pictures of this retreat, Click Here.

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