Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Retreat TX 10.0!

This past weekend, 28 boys from Austin, Houston, College Station and San Antonio came together for Retreat TX 10.0, held at Holy Rosary in Frenstat. Under the leadership and guidance of Legionary priests and brothers, and Aggie College Counselors, these young men embarked on a weekend of formation and fun as they learned the lesson that true heroes are those that are willing to sacrifice themselves for the good of another.

Following the lead of Captain America, the boys participated in team sports including dodgeball, soccer, sonic ball, and football.  Between sports and time with their team, they enjoyed talks given by Legionary priests and brothers. Topics included self-sacrifice, manhood, and overcoming peer pressure.

The retreat reached its climax Saturday evening with a powerful hour of Eucharistic adoration, accompanied by praise and worship songs. Afterwards, the counselors surprised the boys with a exciting Captain America theme based night activity. The weekend was a wonderful experience of friendship, formation, faith and fun for counselors and retreaters alike! A special thanks to all the dads that generously helped out this weekend with meals and much more!

Highlight Video from Retreat TX 10.0, here!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Sonic's "Goodbye for Now" Letter

Thanks for the basket filled with baby items and a Sonic plush!
At Retreat TX 10.0 I was suppose to say a few words, but could not get out but maybe one or two words.  After years of helping build the foundation for Texas Conquest, especially Retreat TX, walking away from this ministry is one of the toughest decisions I have ever made.  It was the decision that was best for me and my family.  I don't want to miss anything in my child's life, I want to be able to fully be the provider of my family, and I want to give both my wife and child the care and attention they each deserve.  That being said, there are countless of people I need to thank.  I am pretty sure by the end of this I will be bawling like I was at the Retreat, but here goes!

To all the parents.  Thank you for the years of allowing your sons to come grow in Christ with me.  A lot of the boys have been there since the beginning.  After the Retreat, I was told "Thank You", "This Retreat would have not have happened without you", "Thank you for building the foundation", etc.  Honestly, this Retreat would not have happened without you.  The parents are what makes these Retreats go.  Thank you for the ongoing support, the trust, and allowing me to witness what good parents are.  I am going to MISS all the emails I send to you, all the phone calls I get to answer, and answering any questions you may have.
Holy Rosary in Frenstat was a home away from home
To the moms and dads who stepped up and went above and beyond.  There are some parents that actually stepped up and became part of our team.  Promotions, legal paper work, cooking, fun activities, finances, and a lot more could not have happened without you.  You know who you are and thank you for your time and service.  It has been a real pleasure working with you all.

Retreat TX 1.0: Armor of God
To all the Retreaters!!! Thank you for coming to spend time with me weekends after weekends.  Continue to grow as leaders and Christian Soldiers.  There are some of you that have been with me since Day 1, and the transformation from being very timid to courageous leaders have been nothing, but amazing.  I grew to love each and everyone of you.  Getting to hear your stories about what you aspire to do, getting to hear you Stump Fr. Michael Sullivan with your insane theological questions, getting to play sports (especially dodgeball), and getting to grow in Virtue with you has been everything I could ask for and more through this experience.  I truly did not want to say bye to you guys, but we will see me again when I get to bring my sons to these events.  By this time, you all will get to be counselors and running these Retreats! How cool is that?

To the counselors.  Thank you for your service and time.  Because of you, Texas Conquest gets to offer what a lot of youth ministry does not.  College men who gets to mentor and be role models for young boys to follow.  These kids look up to you and it isn't the prep work I put in, or the "directing" I do that makes these Retreats awesome.  It is you.  These Retreats will only continue to get better with you guys, so keep on with the good work.  I'll see you around and if you ever need some pointers for an "old guy" like me, just let me know. =)

To all the religious I had the pleasure of working with you.  I never knew priests and brothers could be so COOL!  When I said yes to this ministry a few years ago, I didn't know what I had in store.  The energy, selfless service, passion, and love for the young men is one that I admire.  I have learned and grown so much by working with you all.  Thank you for inspiring me to desire the St. in front of my name.  Thank you for letting me know that the men with "Mr." is just as important as the men with "Fr."  I hope that I get the opportunity to work or just hang out with you all again in the coming years.  What a journey this has been.

Again, thank you everyone.  Please pray for Shelby and I as we welcome our baby in October.
Conquest Baby coming in October 2014
In Christ,
Jonathan 'Sonic' Nguyen