In the first days of July, sixty-five young adults from the Diocese of San Jose gathered at the Shrine of Our Lady of Peace in Santa Clara, California. They had come together with back-packs, tents, and gear for a camping trip to Big Basin in the Redwood State Park with four IVE brothers, four SSVM sisters and the chaplain, Fr. Javier Ibarra, IVE. The trip was to be one of adventure, charity, and fraternal life; so we began with a holy Mass. Following our time of prayer, everyone loaded the caravan of cars with food and camping supplies and left Silicon Valley to head to the great outdoors! The New Evangelization in action!
Our first evening was dedicated to setting up camp, praying Evening Prayer together, and enjoying a huge spaghetti dinner. We closed the evening by singing around the bonfire and getting to know each other.
On Saturday we undertook the big hike through the Redwood Forest, the tallest trees in the world–a real source of reflection on the grandeur of God.
We stopped halfway through the trail and were able to participate in the celebration of Holy Mass in the forest amid 2,000 year old trees.
At the conclusion of the hike, we ended the evening together with dinner, games and songs.
Sunday morning, we once more were able to participate in a beautiful Mass among the trees. Thus we ended our weekend together once more at the altar of the Lord.
The hikers all had a great time getting to know other catholic young adults from around the area and were enlivened and refreshed in their faith with knowledge and support of other Catholics in the area.
Thanks be to God for all the graces and blessings that He showered upon the event.
Sr. Maria Nikopoia Klobe, SSVM
Shrine of Our Lady of Peace, California