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I flew to Denver on Thursday to help out with a Discipleship Youth Retreat for the Diocese of Cheyenne, Wyoming. I was immediately taken with the scenery and the mountains, even though I had had enough snow for the winter.

Cameron Smith, a friend from seminary, is the youth minister and he invited me to help out with the retreat. He and Amy Larsen (Assistant Director of Pastoral Ministries) picked me up from the airport and we headed to Estes Park, Colorado to the YMCA of the Rockies.

We arrived before the kids, so they took me to Rocky Mountain National Park, where we went snow shoeing. It was an awesome experience, the snow and the beauty of nature.

The junior high kids arrived Friday evening and there were tons of activities planned. Some gave talks to the kids and they sang songs and prayed. Saturday we had a long period of games in the afternoon. I celebrated Mass, heard confessions, organized games, gave a talk, and presided at our evening Holy Hour. Fr. Bill Hill, the Diocesan Vocation Director was also present. It was a powerful encounter with Christ for all present, and I was glad to accept the invite to come. It was good for the kids to meet and hear from a Benedictine monk and priest.

God was present in the beautiful surroundings and in the hearts of so many young people.