Here’s where you’ll find information regarding all of our upcoming retreats, conferences, and events for the year.
Theme: Theology of the Body
“The human body includes right from the beginning… the capacity of expressing love, that love in which the person becomes a gift – and by means of this gift – fulfills the meaning of his being and existence.” –St. John Paul II
The “Theology of the Body” is St. John Paul II’s integrated vision of the human person. The human body has a specific meaning, making visible an invisible reality, and is capable of revealing answers regarding fundamental questions about us and our lives:
- Is there a real purpose to life and if so, what is it?
- What does it mean that we were created in the image of God?
- Why were we created male and female? Does it really matter if we are one sex or another?
- What does the marital union of a man and woman say to us about God and his plan for our lives?
- What is the purpose of the married and celibate vocations?
- What exactly is “Love”?
- Is it truly possible to be pure of heart?
All of these questions, and many more, are answered in the 129 Wednesday audiences popularly known as the “Theology of the Body,” delivered by St. John Paul II between 1979 and 1984.
Who: High School students
Includes: Retreat Materials, Lodging, Meals, and a T-Shirt
Location: Ponderosa Retreat & Conference Center, Larkspur, CO
When: August 27-29, 2021
Parents are responsible for providing transportation to and from Ponderosa Retreat & Conference Center in Larkspur, CO.
The address for Ponderosa Retreat & Conference Center is 15235 Furrow Road, Larkspur, CO 80118.
Friday, August 27, 7:00 PM at Ponderosa Retreat & Conference Center
Sunday, August 29, 12:00 PM at Ponderosa Retreat & Conference Center
- Youth will be asked to wear cloth face coverings to all youth ministry activities (even those taking place outside)
- Hand sanitizer
- Sleeping Bag
- Clothes for Saturday and Sunday
- Rosary, Bible, Journal, and Pen (any other desire spiritual reading)
- Toiletries (Body Wash, Shampoo, Toothbrush, Deodorant, etc.)
- Medication (must be turned in to Youth Minister with specific instructions)
- One Bag or Suitcase Per Person
- Water Bottle
All high school freshman through seniors are invited to join us in the summer of 2022 for our first international mission trip, Alternative Summer Break: Peru. We’ll be traveling to Lima, Peru on Friday, July 22nd and returning to Denver on Saturday, August 2nd, 2022. We’re collaborating with St. Thomas More Catholic Parish in Centennial, CO to offer this amazing service opportunity. This is not your typical summer vacation, we’ll be working with the Christian Life Movement, a lay and religious movement started in Peru (with a large presence in Colorado) to help provide much needed assistance to the poor and marginalized in one of the many shanty towns on the outskirts of Lima.
History of Alternative Summer Break
This will be the 21st Alternative Summer Break (ASB) that St. Thomas More has led. In previous years, they’ve taken students to Mexico, Nicaragua, Kenya, and Jamaica.
Joe Heasley, our Director of Youth Evangelization and Catechesis was actively involved in youth ministry at St. Thomas More and attended several Alternative Summer Breaks. Some of his favorite memories of youth ministry are serving the poor and marginalized in Juarez, Mexico where he helped build a house for a family in need and working alongside the people of Pamplona Alta, a shanty town in Lima, Peru where he helped build a library.
This Is Not A Vacation
This is not your typical summer vacation. This is a mission trip, not a vacation. It’s important that we approach this trip with the right kind of attitude:
- We’re going to serve – we need a servants heart.
- We’re going to grow in our faith – we need to make Christ the center of this trip and strive to grow closer to Him in our own lives.
- We’ll encounter some hardships – it won’t be as comfortable as daily life in Highlands Ranch, CO.
- We’ll be expected to face those hardships with patience, charity, and self-sacrifice.
ASB is an incredible opportunity and has the potential to change your life and the way you see the world. We’re privileged to be able to offer this mission trip. We hope you’ll join us.
ASB Peru is scheduled for Friday, July 22nd to Saturday, August 2nd, 2022. We do not have airfare yet, so these dates aren’t set in stone. They may fluctuate one day in either direction to allow us to find the most affordable airfare, but our dates of service won’t change. Our return flight will be an overnight flight, which is normal when returning to the United States from South America.
The cost of the trip will cover transportation, lodging, and all meals. Souvenirs, food and snacks in the airports are on your own.
The estimated cost of the trip is $2,400 to $2,700 per person. In addition, all youth participants are required to put down a $100 behavior deposit, which will be returned upon trip completion, as long as you follow all the rules of the contract.
After that, remaining payments will be broken into 4 bi-monthly payments of $550 each. The payments are due: November 16th, January 11th, March 8th, and May 10th (remaining balance). The $100 behavior deposit will be due right before our departure.
If you apply for this trip, the assumption will be that you and your family have already considered all the options and that you are able to commit yourself to being part of Alternative Summer Break 2022. If at any point you decide to pull out of the trip, you will not receive a full refund, and may forfeit all payments, since we will pay for most of our costs well ahead of time, and such fees (especially where airfare is involved) may be non-refundable.
Travel Insurance is highly recommended.
There will be a few opportunities for you to raise money to offset the cost of the trip. Joe and Chloe will notify St. Mark Catholic Church families of several St. Mark specific opportunities to help raise funds for the trip.
Every ASB participant will be required to have a passport. If you do not have a passport, please apply for one NO LATER THAN October 1, 2021. If you already have a passport, make sure it’s not due to expire 6 months before our trip. You can apply for a passport (or renewal) at any main post office branch or go to www.usps.com/passport/.
We will not be entering any areas where Malaria is a concern. However, immunizations against Measles (should have been administered in childhood – please check records), Hepatitis A and Typhoid are strongly advised. All ASB 2022 participants will be expected to be immunized against these three diseases unless a parent has specifically spoken with David Tschumper, Director of Youth Ministry at St. Thomas More. For details, please go to the Center for Disease Control’s website at http://wwwn.cdc.gov/travel/.
More information to come on Covid-19 protocols.
Applications need to be turned in no later than Wednesday, September 22nd. At a maximum, the team will consist of 22 youth and 3 adults. Due to the nature of our airfare situation, participation in ASB 2022 will be on a first-come-first-served basis.
Over the course of the year, we will have a number of mandatory preparation meetings. These meetings will be a great opportunity to get to know each other, and they will help us all to prepare physically, mentally, and spiritually for this amazing experience. These meeting will take place on the following dates at St. Thomas More Catholic Parish in the Youth Center:
- Thursday, September 16th, 6:00-7:00pm – Information Meeting
- Tuesday, October 26th, 6:00-7:00pm
- Tuesday, November 16th, 6:00-7:00pm
- Tuesday, December 7th, 6:00-7:00pm
- Tuesday, January 11, 6:00-7:00pm
- Tuesday, February 8, 6:00-7:00pm
- Tuesday, March 8, 6:00-7:00pm
- Tuesday, April 12, 6:00-7:00pm
- Tuesday, May 10, 6:00-7:00pm
- July departure preparation meeting (Parents required) – July 12th from 6:30-8:00 pm
These meetings are very important, so please schedule around them.
For more information on all things ASB Peru please contact Joe Heasley at firstname.lastname@example.org or (720) 348-9700 x217.