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Seminarians enjoy enriching outdoor activities at Tecaboca

Jose J. Matos Auffant, Executive Director, Tecaboca Retreat Center sends us this update.

Seminarians from the Archdiocese of San Antonio tried new things during their very first fellowship week at Tecaboca!  Auxiliary Bishop Gary Janak, Vicar General and Director of Vocations for the Archdiocese, encouraged the group to delight in nature, enjoy the outdoors, and not be afraid to try new things while at Tecaboca.

One seminarian learned archery, swam from shore to shore, did canoeing with another fellow seminarian, got lost all the way to the falls, kayaking on his own, and even had the first experience fishing.  But he was not the only one who tried new things:  all seminarians where able to try something they had not done before. They explored individual skills but also got to practice mutual support at each step of the way. The camaraderie they all displayed throughout the days at Tecaboca was very uplifting and inspiring.

With his characteristic unassuming style, Bishop Gary led deep conversations as well as intense prayer moments each day. On their second day, the group organized a beautiful procession from the Chaminade Chapel to the Amphitheatre by the waterfront and then invested quality time in adoration by the water.  This experience of listening to God in nature was very enriching for all.

Only one seminarian had been at Tecaboca before as a participant in a parish youth retreat.  The rest of the group attended the Marianist youth camp and retreat center for the very first time. They all coincided in being very intentional in their future assignments to make sure their future parishioners are aware of Tecaboca as a great place to enjoy nature while finding God in many, many details in nature:  the gentle breeze by the waterfront, the water falling from the dam, the flowers with bright colors, the cool shades from robust trees at any time of the day... so many things to give thanks to God!

Tecaboca supports vocational ministry within the Marianist Family and beyond.  Many discernment retreats have been held on-site, with the help of men and women religious, to accompany young people in their personal and communal vocational reflections.  Retreats for professed religious in small groups have proven very helpful as an “oasis” to refresh the soul towards the end of each semester.  Family retreats, women’s retreats, and Lay Marianists have enjoyed weekend getaway moments that nurture their faith journeys.  With this new experience hosting a week of fellowship for diocesan seminarians, Tecaboca reaffirms the commitment to accompany young people in discernment, a crucial contribution to the growth of the Body of Christ.

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1 Comment

Steven O'Neil
Steven O'Neil
Jun 11

Thanks for this story, Jose! Great to see the diocese taking advantage of Tecaboca!

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