Diocesan Youth Ministry Completes Lent Retreat Season

The Department of Youth and Young Adult Ministries successfully completed its 2018 Lenten Retreat season, with three ACYOA Juniors regional retreats. Collectively, there were 92 youth in attendance from across 17 parishes.

On February 16-18, Jennifer Morris traveled to the Michigan Christian Youth Camp in Attica, MI, to lead the Michigan/Ohio regional retreat, while Kathryn Ashbahian traveled to St. Iakavos Retreat Center in Kansasville, WI to lead the Wisconsin/Illinois regional retreat.

On February 23-25, they both traveled to Camp Washington in Lakeside, CT, to lead the East Coast regional retreat together.

ACYOA Juniors Go “Full Circle”

Under the theme of “Full Circle Faith,” teenagers spent the respective retreat weekends discussing the ways in which their faith encompasses their entire lives, not just a few hours on Sunday morning.

On Friday night, participants enjoyed dinner together and were then led through team-building icebreakers and fun hula hoop activities in an effort to get to know one another.

On Saturday morning, they talked about the different stressors they face in school and at home during the Stress Spectrum activity. After delving into a bible study where participants discussed the need for personal and communal prayer, participants ate lunch and enjoyed some time of fellowship together.

An afternoon was built around the Diocesan video series “Choices, with Fr. Tateos Abdalian.” After viewing the episode titled “Friends In Need,” participants opened up about the ways in which their friends support each other through tough times. During the last activity of the retreat, participants reflected on the things that make up their days by drawing a pie chart of time, and they used that visual to create a vision board that represented how they wanted to better use their time.

Trio of ACYOA Seniors Retreats

On March 3, ACYOA Central Council members led three ACYOA Seniors regional retreats at St. Mesrob Church (Racine, WI), St. Gregory the Enlightener Church (White Plains, NY), and the Church of Our Saviour (Worcester, MA) for more than 50 young adults from 15 parishes. The day-long program enabled young adults to engage in meaningful conversation on stress, prayer, and the importance of strong relationships in their lives.

Diocesan clergy were present throughout the retreat season and spent time interacting with the teens and young adults. They include Fr. Aren Jebejian, Fr. Mesrop Parsamyan, Fr. Yeprem Kelegian, Fr. Aved Terzian, Fr. Armash Bagdasarian, Fr. Tavit Boyajian, Fr. Stepanos Doudoukjian, Fr. Mesrob Hovsepyan, Fr. Avedis Kalayjian, Fr. Hovhan Khoja-Eynatyan, Fr. Kapriel Mouradjian, and Dn. Narek Garabedian.

Click on the links to view photos from the MI/OH ACYOA Juniors Retreat, WI/IL ACYOA Juniors Retreat, East Coast ACYOA Juniors Retreat, and ACYOA Seniors Retreats.

Please note that copies of this year’s retreat lesson plans are available for parish use. Contact Jennifer Morris ( or Kathryn Ashbahian (

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