Southwestern Indiana's Catholic Community Newspaper

Spring Break Becomes Holy Week Encounter With Christ For Washington Youth

Diocese of Evansville seminarians Martin Estrada and Tyler Underhill enjoy some games with participants on Holy Saturday.

This year, spring break for schools in Washington, Ind., lined up with Holy Week; so Our Lady of Hope Parish arranged a unique opportunity for youth to walk with Christ through His passion, death, and resurrection. This experience, “Encountering Christ for Youth and Young Adults,” attracted more than 60 youth from the community to share more than 40 hours of their spring break with Christ.

The Encounter began the afternoon of Palm Sunday, when youth and young adults from the community gathered at Washington Catholic High School for fellowship and a movie.

On Tuesday, the teens traveled through pouring rain from Washington to St. Benedict Cathedral in Evansville to experience the Chrism Mass with Bishop Joseph M. Siegel.

The youth gathered again on Holy Thursday to hear witnesses from parishioners and participate in a special meal to represent Jesus’ Last Supper. Then, at Holy Thursday Mass, the youth were able to make the connection of oils blessed at the Chrism Mass to the oils presented to, and used by, their parish.

By design, Good Friday was a long and emotional day for the youth that included more witness talks, light meals, Stations of the Cross and a special “Condolence Rosary” to reflect upon the suffering of Mary through the loss of her only Son.  

Holy Saturday was a lighter day of fun games, activities, more talks and skits held offsite at All Saints Church in Cannelburg. Participants concluded the encounter by gathering later that night with family and new friends for Easter Vigil Mass at Our Lady of Hope.

“I’m very proud of all of the students who took time out of their spring break to grow in their relationship with the Lord,” said Laura Litwiler, Our Lady of Hope Parish youth group co-leader. “It was really a blessing to have that many students participate in the Easter Triduum with us and with each other.”