MYP TEEN RETREAT—Saturday, June 11, 2022, at Holy Trinity Church, Whitestone, NY By Tom Leavens

Our annual MYP Teen Retreat was held as an all-day event on Saturday, June 11, 2022, at Holy  Trinity Church in Whitestone, NY. The beautiful weather allowed us to use the garden spaces for small group discussions & prayer. The event was rectored by Diana Roach & Tom Leavens, and the Team members working the event were Jean (Bena) Pedri, Mary Leavens, Cathy Bischoff Weinbaum, Eileen Haggerty & Kerin (Carty) Kriegsman. The theme of the retreat was, “You’ve Got a Friend.”

The event started with breakfast and an icebreaker. The teens then heard the first of two Team talks about relationships—the first with positivity & the second with negativity. Several Team members shared personal stories from their lives. Each talk began with parts of this Bible passage from Sirach 6:8-16):

“Some people will be your friends only when it is convenient for them, but they won’t stand by you in trouble. Others will fall out with you over some argument, and then embarrass you by letting everyone know about it. Others will sit at your table as long as things are going well; they will stick to you like your shadow, but they will not stand by you in trouble. If your situation takes a turn for the worse, they will turn against you, and you won’t be able to find them anywhere. A loyal friend is like a safe shelter; find one, and you have found a treasure. Nothing else is as valuable; there is no way of putting a price on it. A loyal friend is like a medicine that keeps you in good health.“

The Small Group discussions gave the teens opportunities to share their own views & stories. Following lunch, we watched an episode from the TV show, “My So-Called Life,” again showing the realizations of how friendships are made & strengthened.  The teens created a chain made from sacrifice beads, with colors they identifies with positive attributes in friendship. The retreat concluded with Mass at Holy Trinity Church. It was a great event to conclude the MYP’s 49th year—and a great lead into our 5oth!