By Peggy Weber

West Hartford, CONN. — More than three dozen teenagers and several dedicated volunteers gathered from Aug. 20-23 for a San Damiano Summer Camp and Retreat at the Holy Family Passionist Retreat Center.

These young people could have been at the beach or hanging out at home or working. Instead they chose to spend four days focused on their faith.

Conventual Franciscan Father Pedro DeOliveira helped guide the group which calls St. Stanislaus Basilica and Martyr Parish in Chicopee its home.

Deacon Joe Peters of St. Stanislaus and his wife, Jan, worked with the teens throughout the week. Jan used her incredible art talents to help the group create stained-glass windows from plastic!

Joe Dziok, who just returned from an internship with the Summer Olympics in London, worked with the teens, especially in the area of technology.

I was asked to speak to the group about the efforts of Catholic Communications and specifically about blogging.

It was a great chance to show our iobserve.org page and the wealth of information there.

I was lucky enough to have the assistance of my daughter, Elizabeth Weber Begley, who helped me click through YouTube, Facebook, and other pages on the diocesan news site.

The youngsters were polite, attentive and really, really nice!!

They created a blog for their parish and engaged in other creative and technical projects. They also interacted with singing evangelist Michael Poirier and his family and focused on The Divine Mercy.

Catholic Communications hopes to hear from the teens as they learn to express their faith in a variety of media.

And Catholic Communications also hopes that these savvy teens will follow Catholic Communications on Twitter and “like” them on Facebook.

Photos by Jeremiah Begley