Youth from across the Brooklyn Diocese spent their first weekend during Lent at a Stay-Awake-Athon, an overnight lock-in at St. Thomas Aquinas, Flatlands, Feb. 16-17.
Teens from the parish’s youth group and ambassadors from the Vicariate of Black Catholic Concerns youth leadership program shared their faith while having fun. The event also gathered teens from St. Joseph in Jamaica, who came as a group to the annual retreat from their Queens parish.
“My first experience of participating in the lock-in was an amazing experience,” said Emmanuel Renaud.
The youth group member who attends St. Edmund Prep H.S., Sheepshead Bay, shared how much he learned over two days.
“During Holy Hour, I learned about the importance of the Ten Commandments and how important it is to go to confession. After Holy Hour, we participated in many fun activities: Battle of the Sexes, Where The Wind Blows and basketball. I enjoyed myself so much that I am looking forward to participating in this event again.”
For youth ambassador Kayla Joseph Ollivierre, she said that the experience shaped her understanding of Lent.
“At this year’s lock-in, I felt exhilarated to spend the night with my young Catholic peers,” said Ollivierre, who attends St. Matthew parish, Crown Heights.
“I learned a lot about love and deepening my relationship with God through my Lenten mission. I also learned Lent isn’t always about giving something up, but it’s for making room in your heart to accept God’s love.”