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Lamplighter - Fr. Aran

posted Feb 25, 2016, 12:33 PM by St. Thomas Church   [ updated Mar 29, 2018, 1:25 PM ]

Hello friends . . . grace and peace,

By the time you are reading this, it will almost be April.  This year, Resurrection Sunday (aka Easter) is on April 1.  I will now refrain from making an Easter/April Fools joke.

You’re welcome. J

The month of April is a special one in the life of the STYG (st thomas youth group) and that’s because it’s the month of our annual spring retreat called Contagion.  Yes, Contagion.  No we didn’t name it after the 2011 Matt Damon and Gwyneth Paltrow film about a super-virus that threatens to destroy all human life.

But we did pick the name “Contagion” many years ago for a very specific reason.

We at the STYG are all about taking the words and teachings of Jesus very seriously.  And as far as we can tell, Jesus taught over and over again about living out his teachings in order that The Kingdom of God would find its way not just into our hearts, but also into our relationships, our culture, even The Creation itself.

The only way for that to happen, with God’s Spirit empowering us, is for the message of Jesus to be lived out day-by-day.  The gospel of Jesus was entrusted to women and men, no different than you or me.  And it spread.  It was uncontainable.

Some might say, it went viral.

And a word that many people use for the spread of an idea or concept is:


At our Contagion retreat, we dive deep into what Jesus teaches.  We spend time in small groups discussing how we can put those teachings into practice.  We settle in to prayer, asking God for help, comfort, and grace.

We also cook all our own food, eat together, hang out, relax, and spend time building the kind of community where the teachings of Jesus can be practiced.  Pretty much everyone who goes to Contagion comes back the next year, and the next, and the next.  It truly is the best thing we do all year at the STYG.

Contagion is open to all 7th – 12th graders.  Students must sign up online at  The dates for Contagion this year are April 20-22 and we’ll be retreating at a retreat center near Kewaukee, WI.

Please, keep us in prayer.

peace to you