Milton Conquest ran its Club Retreat October 12, 2013, and the Club Youth Leaders and Club program boys provided a stellar example of what Conquest is all about.
The boys led all the activities, and maintained order and control throughout the day. The younger boys had no problem listening to instructions, especially when they were being delivered by the youth leaders. As a result, the whole day seemed to run efficiently and smoothly, and the boys seemed to appreciate the chance to be led by people their own age. There just seems to be something magical about having youth leaders in charge for a day, and the beaming smiles on all the boys' faces at the end of the retreat seemed to reflect this reality.
I had the opportunity to attend the Eucharistic Adoration segment with one group, and I watched as Nathan Duarte led them in prayer and contemplation. The group gave him their undivided attention, and as they left the chapel, I could see that they had all changed in some small way, through the question and answer session and the quiet time of adoration, or "radiation therapy" as we like to call it. There were several parishioners in the chapel at the time, and it was easy to see that they were impressed by the seriousness and comportment of the group.
Of course, the adults, led by Conquest Director, Marvin Duarte had planned the retreat to perfection, and Father Thomas Murphy LC and Brother Nathan Wayne LC, were instrumental in making this a very sacred and spiritual day for all involved.
And so, the spirituality, the recitation of the Rosary throughout the day, the visitation to Mary's shrine and the presentation of flowers and special intentions, and the closing Mass were all strengthened by the spontaneity of the boys as they were led by their peers.
And if there is one thing the boys will remember about the Club Retreat it will be Father Murphy's homily about the good wolf and the bad wolf which are in all of us, and how they vie for our attention day in and day out. The bad wolf howls when we are greedy and voracious, and the good wolf howls when we are generous and show gratitude.
They will also remember that they should always ask God for one thing, and thank him for two.
That attitude of gratitude was probably the most important thing the boys brought home from the Milton Conquest Club Retreat, and we all hope and pray they maintain it throughout their adolescent years and adult lives.
That is the magic of Conquest. That is just one of its gifts to the boys. Thank God for the Conquest Club Retreat and for the Club Youth Leaders and Club program boys.