Teens and young adults around the archdiocese are familiar with the Teens Encounter Christ (TEC) retreat sponsored by the Archdiocese of New Orleans, a three-day weekend filled with prayer, reflections, discussions and activities centered on paschal mystery spirituality.
Keeping the paschal mystery at its core, 90 registrants from dioceses across the nation, representing 18 TEC communities, met at Loyola University New Orleans for the yearly TEC Congress July 15-17 under the theme “Rise, Renew, Rejoice.”
“The Congress provides opportunities for community, prayer and formation,” said Ronald Reiter, executive director of TEC. “It allows us to learn new ideas, meet new friends, reconnect with old friends and share and collaborate in TEC ministry.”
At the college level, finding a community of people with similar interests can seem like an easy task. In the real world, however, it isn’t always that easy. The desire for community expands rapidly as New Orleans’ young adults struggle to find a place for them to live and grow in the Catholic faith.
Rachel Longest, archdiocesan young adult ministry coordinator, and Laura Quigley, associate chaplain at Loyola University New Orleans, have teamed up to form Christian Life Communities (CLCs) throughout the archdiocese for young adults graduated from college. Already in place at Loyola and Jesuit universities across the country, CLCs consist of groups of six to 10 people and are founded in Ignatian spirituality, grounded in each individual’s own experience and finding God in all things.
“The idea is to engage in discernment together, reflecting on where to find God in your life, so that you can really fulfill God’s mission,” Quigley said.