TEC: Teens Encounter Christ

(Troops ~ To ~ Twenties ~ Together Encounter Christ)

Serving the Church's youth and young adults in 50+ Dioceses throughout North America, Central America, South America and Europe

TEC: Building a Foundation of Faith

"So then, anyone who hears these words of Mine and obeys them is like a wise man who built his house on rock. The rain poured down, the rivers flooded over, and the wind blew hard against that house. But it did not fall, because it was built on rock" (Matthew 7:24-25).


Thank you for your interest in the TEC Movement for your diocese. If starting this endeavor sounds like much more than planning a weekend retreat, you're right. TEC is a Roman Catholic movement of spirituality for older adolescents and young adults; based on a well-defined theological process, a set of principals and a three-stage methodology (Pre-TEC, the weekend and Post-TEC Follow-Through).

The call to begin TEC means more than being a director of a retreat weekend. The call is to build… the structures to be built are not only retreat weekends, but also communities where people with a common vision come together to share enthusiasm and work toward that vision (TEC Conference Manual IX-18). As with any venture involving spiritual growth, prayer will be needed to obtain the necessary direction, insight and commitment.

The Foundation:

Starting TEC in your diocese can be compared to building a house. Before you start building a house, have a vision of your house at its completion. If you have not at this point experienced a TEC weekend, doing so is probably the the best way to begin to discern if this process is right for you and your community. If you want to know more about it before going on a weekend, a brief history of TEC can be found on this website. A TEC Conference staff member or your Regional or State representative can help in finding the closest TEC community to you. Having the neighboring TEC community serve as a mentor can be vital a part of starting your center. Next, you have to lay the groundwork or the foundation. By having a good foundation, you will be better able to weather storms down the road.

In keeping with the analogy, the first thing you need to do is survey the land. Prayerfully discern if TEC is possible and feasible for your area. If the land looks good, next you need a building permit. A letter of approval is required from the ordinary (bishop) of your diocese for the TEC Conference records. Experience has demonstrated that it is not sufficient for the bishop to simply know about the efforts to develop the TEC movement in his diocese. Rather, he must give his positive approval to the work and consider the TEC movement as one of the approved evangelizing and spiritual formation works in the diocese. 

Click on the link below to see a checklist of characteristics of a well-built TEC foundation (PDF):

Want to know more?

The TEC Conference has prepared a packet of information outlining how TEC can most successfully be initiated in your diocese. The How to Begin TEC Packet (which includes the TEC Concept Manual containing the support statements from 13 U.S. bishops and the TEC: Past, Present & Future DVD) costs $40 plus postage/shipping & handling. To obtain a copy, please first send a check made payable "TEC Conference" and mail to: 1007 Airline Park Blvd, Metairie, LA  70003. Upon receipt of the check, the packet will be mailed within one business day.

For more information, please contact the TEC Conference at (504) 227-3233 or via email at: Office@TECconference.org. If you are communicating by email, please include the following:

  • The line "Request for Information" in the subject line
  • Indicate if whether or not you're interested in starting a new TEC center in your diocese or reviving a former one.
  • Indicate if you have questions and would like someone from the TEC Conference to contact you.
  • Which diocese you are in and the name of the bishop.
  • When the best time would be to reach you by phone.

Additional Resources:

The TEC Conference website provides a wealth of information about the Movement. Click on a link below to access this information, including: