Greetings from the “OBOC Home Office”!
It’s been almost a month since I last wrote to you concerning this summer’s plans. In that time, a lot has happened!
OBOC is sponsoring Steve Angrisano’s daily Chaplet of Divine Mercy on Facebook (he has about 750-900 people praying each day!). In addition, Robert Feduccia is producing a weekly Bible study for teens called “Word on Wednesday,” which can be found on our social media pages as well as our website. Katie Prejean McGrady is on Instagram chat on Thursday nights, talking about “Routines, Boundaries, Stability.”
The interns also have been leading Compline on a Zoom call pushed to Facebook Live every other night leading up to mid-Holy Week. Look for that to start back up soon. We are offering these virtual opportunities for prayer, study, and action to meet the needs of the young Church in the midst of this pandemic. I sincerely hope these efforts are helpful for your teens and for you.
I’m writing today to follow up on some of the questions concerning our summer conferences that I’m sure you have been wondering about, as well as to let you know how we are planning to move forward in this time of great uncertainty.
As difficult as it is to make this decision, we think it is prudent to cancel all three conferences scheduled for June and July.
If you have youth or adult participants who have not yet completed their online individual registration, we ask that you follow up with them to do so to enable us to stay in contact with them for any events we may be able to offer this summer.
If you have paid any deposits or fees for your registered group, that money will be refunded.
Now, for the work we are currently preparing:
We had entertained offering a virtual conference, but have since scrapped that idea. We believe that much of our success is built on the ministry of presence. Being present here at Saint Meinrad, participating in our uplifting prayer and liturgy, and being together is what makes OBOC special. We think that moving to an online platform, with teens who have been “over-Zoomed,” would not be beneficial.
We hope to create a “Healing Retreat” of sorts that we can offer on weekends this fall/winter to those who are registered. We would follow the OBOC schedule, using the rhythm of prayer/work and focusing on the healing that young people will need (body/mind/spirit) after we enter our new normal. Using the focus of Word/Sacrament/Mission as we always do, we believe allowing these themes to guide sessions of reflection will be a good place to start. Should we be able to hold these retreats, we will offer prayer and Mass, as per our OBOC schedule, and theological reflection groups in the evening to process coming through this weird time in our lives. We believe that offering a retreat focused on healing, and processing the great losses caused from COVID-19 would be beneficial to teens and adults alike. At these retreats, we wouldn’t focus on the youth learning any liturgical skills, but rather on truly entering liturgy and allowing it to strengthen them.
Should we be able to hold these retreats this fall/winter, we will employ our interns as much as possible to act as TRG leaders as usual.
It’s been a challenging but creative time in the “Home Office” of OBOC. We are working diligently to pivot so as to discern a course of action and meet the needs of the young Church. Your continued prayers are much appreciated at this time.
Should you have any questions concerning any of the points above, please direct them to me, Tammy Becht, at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have questions concerning any part of the registration process, or if you have questions concerning refunds for deposits and fees already paid, please direct those questions to McKenzy Stilger at email@example.com.
In the meantime, please continue to monitor our social media pages on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, as well as our website, and encourage your teens to tune in to the great prayer, Bible study, and chats we will continue to sponsor for you. Let us all continue in the spirit of OBOC, in the Word, Sacrament and Mission of the Church.
Praying for you, and for the whole world,