WORDS OF SUPPORT FROM OTHER BISHOPS
There is no doubt that the TEC movement has materially impacted the dioceses in which it flourishes. The following bishops have taken the time to write about the effect that TEC has had upon them and the people they serve. Notable is the testimony of Archbishop Wilton Gregory of Atlanta, the former president of the USCCB, who himself made a TEC many years ago as a young seminarian.
Most Rev. Gregory M. Aymond, Archbishop of New Orleans
“The Teens Encounter Christ movement has been a blessing to the Church in New Orleans and beyond as it for decades has faithfully led adolescents and young adults into a deeper appreciation of the Paschal Mystery, a deeper love for the Church, and a deeper relationship with the Lord Jesus. TEC has also been a blessing in bringing forth vocations to the priesthood and religious life, and calling forth dedicated lay people to be co-workers in the Lord’s vineyard.It has strengthened parish life and the archdiocesan Church, even as it exists as a special movement of its own, an important aspect in building the Body of Christ.”
Most Rev. Roger L. Schwietz, OMI
TEC Conference Episcopal Moderator Emeritus
"The TEC experience strengthens a young person's relationship with Jesus Christ while also fortifying
the sense of participating in a faith community. TEC as a movement builds both faith and community."
Most Rev. Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap., Archbishop of Philadelphia, Pa.
"We know from the Scriptures that Jesus wanted the young to come to Him. One of the great blessings for the Church these days is the Teens Encounter Christ movement, which is the embodiment of the Church’s desire to imitate Christ’s love for youth and His outreach to them. The period since the Second Vatican Council has been full of examples of the Holy Spirit moving the Church in special ways. TEC is one of those gifts from the Holy Spirit."
Most Rev. Blase J. Cupich, Bishop of Spokane, Wash.
"Since the first year of my ordination to the priesthood in 1975, I have been involved with Teens Encounter Christ. These past 34 years have given me an opportunity to see how young people are renewed and grow into adulthood as practicing Catholics due to the wonderful dynamic of Teens Encounter Christ. This wonderful movement deserves everyone's support, and I wholeheartedly endorse it. TEC is very much alive in my own Diocese of Rapid City, and I am glad to be an occasional member of the team. Wishing you every blessing and with kind regards, I remain sincerely yours in Christ."
Most Rev. Elden Francis Curtiss, Archbishop of Omaha, retired
"TEC has had a place in the Archdiocese of Omaha for many years. The first young people have become mature adults, active participants in the life of Church and in their local communities across the country. Any number of those who have participated in the TEC experience have returned to support and lead others to a more active and deeper relationship with Christ through the weekend experience."
Most Rev. John Gaydos, Bishop of Jefferson City, Mo.
"The late Pope Paul VI during the years of his service to the Universal Church reminded us of the mission of all Catholics to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ to all peoples, both young and old. Twenty-five years ago in this local Church the Pope's request was answered with the humble beginnings of the TEC Movement.
Since that time over 4,100 young people plus adult leaders have been a vital part of the TEC experience. This program allowed them to witness and to grow in their faith by deepening their love of Jesus Christ in the Eucharistic and in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. I am thankful for its presence here and encourage you to consider its positive influence in your area."
Most Rev. Gerald A. Gettelfinger, Retired Bishop of Evansville
"My letter is one of endorsement of the Teens Encounter Christ Movement (TEC). In my judgment, based on our diocesan experience, it is not only a worthy movement, but also a most powerful one. The TEC retreat in the Diocese of Evansville has served well over 1,500 youth and adults since it began here in 1991. Under the spiritual guidance of Father Bernie Etienne, (our Diocesan Vocations Director) the movement has yielded many great fruits: a substantial increase in the number of men studying for the Priesthood for the Diocese; strengthened marriages among TEC leaders; a sharp rise in the number of young men and women joining religious orders; committed youth engaged in their parishes and large communities to stand and serve as witness of the Gospel as they strive to lead the young. This youth movement builds good citizens, educated leaders, and committed Christians.
At the core of TEC is a Catholic sacramentality and vision rooted in Paschal Mystery Spirituality. TEC is not a retreat that stands in opposition or contention with other catechetical or parish youth group programs. Indeed, it has been our experience that TEC strengthens and enhances what we are already doing for our youth."
Most Rev. Wilton Gregory, Archdiocese of Atlanta
"I am happy, as in the past, to offer my endorsement of the To Encounter Christ Retreat Movement, already very active in the Archdiocese of Atlanta. One of the most important works of our Church is to offer young people every means we can, to help them focus and strengthen their Faith, a sure guide, a firm foundation, as they struggle with the conflicting values of the modern world.
I know of no more valuable tool of the Church to reinforce Catholic belief and values than TEC. It was of great personal help to me during my own college seminary days, and without hesitation, I invite all to support this worthy plan for the spiritual life and apostolic work of young Catholics and interested Christians everywhere."
Most Rev. Daniel Jenky, CSC, Diocese of Peoria, Ill.
"For many years, Teens Encounter Christ (TEC) has brought literally thousands of young people closer to our Lord through its retreat program. During that time, I have had the joy of seeing countless young men and women return to help others experience the love of Jesus Christ.
It is this willingness to give of themselves to the community that I believe is the greatest endorsement any endeavor can receive. I assure you that the use of this program in any diocese will only ensure the future of the Church and of the world in the hands of young, faith-filled Catholic believers."
Most Rev. John J. McRaith, Former Bishop of Owensboro, Ky.
"The TEC Movement has been an integral part of the total Youth Ministry program in our diocese for over 30 years. The dedicated adults who minister in this program have demonstrated a true commitment to the catechesis and spiritual growth of the young people they serve. By sharing their faith and commitment to the Church, they demonstrate Christianity as a lived experience in today's world.
TEC has helped approximately 3,000 teens and young adults of our diocese better understand their faith and come to a closer relationship with God and their local parishes. After making the weekend, these young people go home and become involved in their local youth groups and often volunteer to serve as parish musicians, lectors, Eucharistic Ministers and act as mentors for others.
While TEC is not a "vocations" program, it has led many young men and women to give consideration to the religious life. The Diocese of Owensboro has found the TEC program to be a great blessing to our youth and the adults who act as leaders and mentors. We are thankful for the many blessings it has brought us and believe it to be a very valuable ministry to the youth of our diocese."
His Eminence Edwin F. O'Brien, Cardinal Archbishop of Baltimore
"In the early years of the Movement, I was involved in TEC while a chaplain at the United States Military Academy, West Point. In the intervening years and up to the present I have been most impressed by the ripple effect which TEC has had throughout the army and, in fact, all of our military services. It is solid in its Christ-centered approach and Sacramental stress.
May I recommend the TEC Movement, wholeheartedly, to any pastors or youth ministers who are interested in an evangelization initiative which has the potential to enliven the Faith of young and older alike!"
Most Reverend Thomas J. Rodi, Archbishop of Mobile
"In the early 1980’s, a group of lay people from New Orleans participated in a TEC retreat in St. Louis, Missouri. Moved by their experience, they returned to New Orleans with a desire to begin TEC retreats. They invited me to be a priest for TEC #1. I thoroughly enjoyed my first TEC retreat. More importantly, I was impressed with the structure and message of TEC. It allowed the young people to respond to God’s love working powerfully during the weekend. I willingly and enthusiastically agreed to be the priest on TEC #2 as well.
I remain grateful to God, that, after more than twenty-five years, TEC continues to be a blessing to young people in southeastern Louisiana. I have seen first hand how the TEC retreat experience affects young people. It is powerfully effective, with God’s help, in opening the hearts and minds of young people to the message of Jesus Christ. In doing so, it invites young people to a deeper involvement in the church and a deeper relationship with the Lord Jesus.
First involved in TEC so many years ago, I have also had the blessing of being able to observe how the TEC experience continues to affect the lives of those who participated in TEC more than twenty-five years ago. They are now middle age adults, but will often remind me of our TEC retreats and speak of how the retreat experience was a graced moment for them.
I pray that TEC will continue to be an instrument of God’s love, faith and grace now and into the future."
Most Rev. Paul S. Coakley of Oklahoma City
"TEC is a powerful tool for the evangelization of youth and adults working with youth.
I am grateful for its many fruits."
Most Rev. Felipe J. Estévez, St. Augustine FL
“TEC has been instrumental in bringing many young adults to
an encounter with Christ through its retreat experience. The
goal is to create an environment in which young people desire
and receive God’s love and forgiveness. The Paschal Mystery
is unfolded in the sequence of the retreat. I hope that TEC will
have the opportunity to touch many more young adults so that
they too may encounter the love of Christ.”