Second Men’s Encounter Retreat Welcomes 17
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
August 1, 2019
ROCKFORD—An Encounter Retreat for young men who are seeking God’s direction was held July 21-23 at Bishop Lane Retreat Center.
Seventeen young men attended the event organized and run by seven seminarians. Four priests, including Father Kyle Manno, director of vocations, assisted with parts of the retreat.
This year included a trip down to Starved Rock State Park near Oglesby in LaSalle County. There the men hiked the St. Louis Canyon Trail, prayed along the way and listened to talks about God, faith and life.
Other parts of the retreat included active sports and games, prayer, adoration, confessions and at least one campfire.
This Encounter Retreat replaced the former First Call Vocation Camp and served men from 10th grade through college.
“Vocation camps are re-branded and rethought (in these Encounter Retreats) in order to allow each retreatant to take time out of the world in order to encounter Jesus Christ and allow Him to show each person that they are made for more,” Father Manno said earlier this summer as the three new Encounter Retreats were about to begin. 
“The time has been shortened in order to mimic the working of Christ from his death and resurrection which took place over three days,” he added.
After the first retreat for younger men in seventh  through ninth grades, Father Manno called the hiking trips, “such a blessing! We were able to hike and give talks on true masculinity rooted in Christ!”