ORLANDO |Helani Scurfield, 39, began the start of a new school year how she knew best: attending a retreat with St. Joseph.
Scurfield joined nearly 60 other young adults across the Orlando Diocese on Aug. 28 for a half day of community, inspiration and Sacraments at the St. Joseph the Worker Retreat hosted by the Orlando Young Catholic Professionals (YCP) at Most Precious Blood Catholic Church in Oviedo.
“If anything, the COVID-19 pandemic has shown me how valuable connecting with other young adults through Christ truly is,” said Scurfield, an assistant music teacher at Annunciation Catholic Academy in Altamonte Springs. “It’s important to have other young Catholics to validate, support and empathize with you; it really helps with work. We need that regular connection with peers to build each other up and cultivate that spirit of surrender to the Father.”
Twice a year, YCP hosts a retreat for young adults. Activities at this retreat included a speaker, small groups, Sacrament of Penance, Eucharistic adoration, individual and group prayer time, group rosary and Mass.
“The life of a young adult can be very hectic with extracurriculars, jobs and family,” said Alex Lambis, YCP evangelization director. “This retreat is an opportunity to gather all young adults and have them take some time to focus on their relationship with the Lord. To rest. To be still. To be in community.”
Lambis said in today’s culture, many people are dropping from the Catholic faith during times of trial. To promote a steadfast promise to the Lord among the complexities, sorrows and successes in life, the retreat theme focused around the notion of commitment and how to model St. Joseph’s example of faithfulness.
Daniel Boyd, secretary for laity, family and life for the Diocese of Orlando, gave the keynote address, encouraging attendees to bring the Gospel into every nook and cranny of their lives.
“Jesus has called you to transform the world and that is primarily through the secular world,” Boyd said. “There is a need to sanctify the temporal work of our jobs. Every moment becomes an opportunity for joy.”
Boyd emphasized the importance of the virtue of hope when going through difficulties. He reminded everyone they already have what they are longing for when they ask the Holy Spirit to dwell within them and they always have access to the Father through prayer.
His parting message asked retreatants to reflect on their response to Christ. Do they act as though God has already provided for them? He also asked they consider how they practice the virtue of hope – not just hope as a thought, but hope as an act. “Like St. Joseph, we are called to give a hearty ‘yes’ to move in a direction,” Boyd concluded.
For Scurfield’s action of hope, the retreat has inspired her to recommit herself to attending morning daily Mass and to be open to “thy will be done” as said in the Our Father prayer.
By Dana Szigeti, Special to the Florida Catholic – August 31, 2021