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Our Beginnings

Updated: Oct 25, 2022

As a cradle Byzantine Catholic, my siblings and I along with countless other young Catholics were surrounded by numerous activities and groups to join as part of our Catholic youth formation. From the Boy's and Girl's Camps in Burton to the ByzanTEEN Youth Rally's, our adolescent lives were filled with amazing "extracurriculars" that helped strengthen our faith as we matured into adults. Unfortunately, these activities all but ceased as soon as we turned 18, and we were left to our own devices once pronounced adults. I believe that this is an issue that many young Catholics face as they enter into adulthood.

As they go off into the world, often to universities and careers that would like to take them away from their faith, they are left with little to turn to to keep their faith fun and interactive. Sunday to Sunday liturgy becomes mundane, worldly influences begin to pull them away from their faith, and many times they are convinced that "no one believes this stuff anymore." Personally, I believe that this is largely due to a lack of those "extracurriculars" that once made being Catholic something to be proud of, something to cherish. Without these events it can be hard to remember why your faith is so important, and just how many people out there are in the same boat as you. What a difference even one annual event in which one can escape from the world and re-connect with their faith would make. How strong their fervor would become. As beautiful and essential as our weekly Divine Liturgy and daily prayer is, sometimes it can become routine and lackluster in a world full of overstimulation and worldly vices. The retreats, the youth group socials, the pilgrimages are a spark that can help keep one's faith burning like the first Pentecost. Without them one's faith life may lose fervor or direction.

I decided in my first year of college that something must be done about this and decided that a retreat for young adults would be a great way to start. It would be just like the good old days, and I certainly needed the boost in my own faith life. I approached my brothers with the idea, and like the reliable guys they are they jumped right on board and began envisioning this future with me. We then asked our pastor Fr Lukas Mitro and fellow priest Fr Cyril Pinchak if we could have our very own retreat to bring back that spark that people our age are looking for so desperately. They enthusiastically agreed and advised that we form a group first and to build upon that. Over two years later and here we are, doing everything we can as young Catholics to help bring back the fun side of faith life. Our faith is meant to be enjoyed and lived out with immense joy, and if we can share that joy with others for even just a weekend, we think that that will do a world of good for young adults from all over the country. With our eyes fixed on Christ, we seek to revive the enthusiasm that has been lost in so many young peoples' hearts and to reconnect them with their true purpose in this life. We hope that you too will join us on this journey, as we work to bring Christ back to the forefront of young peoples' lives, and re-spark their hearts for Him.

Nick Loya

Byzantine Young Adults

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