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28 Teens Develop Leadership Skills at CLI
I will not do the acts of leadership only, but I will also be doing everything for and through Christ and His goal, not just my objective. This is a quote from a high school student after attending the Diocese of Gaylords Christian Leadership Institute (CLI) last month at the Ralph A. MacMullan Conference Center in Roscommon. The week-long institute offers high school students an opportunity to learn leadership and communication skills with a Catholic Christian focus. Students are challenged to look through the eyes of Christ as they become leaders in their homes, schools and parishes.
Twenty-eight students from throughout the diocese participated in this years CLI, along with an adult staff of twelve, including seminarians, CLI alumni and youth ministers. Fr. Sylvestre Obwaka was also present and served as the Spiritual Director for the week.
Throughout the week, participants learned about leadership through a variety of activities and experiences. In the past Ive been told how to be a leader, remarked one teen. This week it wasnt about the camp facilitators, it was about youth applying their skills, knowledge and faith. Yet another participant noted, It taught many skills, but there were always detailed instructions on how to put them into practice.
Along with learning communication skills, students grew spiritually as they joined for daily Mass, Reconciliation, prayer workshops and prayer planning.
Bishop Bernard Hebda celebrated Mass with the CLI group on the first night and in his homily spoke about how Jacob was called by God for a specific vocation, just like those attending CLI. He continued to speak about how the youth of the diocese are the dreamers needed to see what can be in our faith family. Afterward, participants commented, Im closer to God than Ive ever been, and I now know where to find peace.
CLI has been a successful program in the Diocese since the 1990s serving hundreds of teens since its beginning. Next years camp will be held on July 7-11 and promises to be another empowering event for our young Christian leaders. Anyone interested in the CLI program can contact Dannie Brzezinski at firstname.lastname@example.org.