Source + Summit 2024 welcomes nearly 600 youth and young adults

Source + Summit participants look on during Mass March 10 at Mater Dei. The Message photo by John Rohlf

By John Rohlf

The Message assistant editor

Nearly 600 youth and young adults participated in this past weekend’s Source + Summit retreat, which featured multiple speakers and a closing Mass celebrated by Bishop Joseph M. Siegel. 

The annual retreat, which was held this year March 8-10 at Mater Dei High School, drew in over 575 participants, according to event organizer Gail Shetler. They had around 140 volunteers helping put on the retreat. 

“The kids, they can't wait from one year to the next,” Shetler said. “And people that come from out of town that work retreat weekends. They are so impressed that our kids start with enthusiasm, where they hope other kids end on the other weekends they're at. Because our kids can't wait to get back.”

Bishop Joseph M. Siegel delivers his homily during the Source + Summit Mass March 10. The Message photo by John Rohlf

Bishop Siegel presided over the closing Mass at the Source + Summit retreat. Three priests concelebrated the Mass. Bishop Siegel focused the beginning and end of his homily on the Bible verse John 3:16, which was in Sunday’s Gospel on the Fourth Sunday of Lent. The verse states, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.” 

Bishop Siegel said this verse is perhaps the most important verse of the New Testament. He said it really is a summary of all the Scripture. In the midst of this gift, Bishop Siegel said we must ask what our response is to such an incredible gift. The questions individuals must consider are what we might change in our lives and if we are living faithfully in the light. 

He said this season of Lent is a time to examine our choices and priorities and whether we walk in the light or fall into the influence of the darkness. He asked where the shadows of sin still reign in our hearts and minds and what we are doing to enact change. Bishop Siegel said as people of faith, we do not run from the darkness but ask for the grace to dispose our faults and weaknesses to the light of the crucified and risen Christ. Bishop Siegel added with Christ in our hearts and in our Church, we are the light and darkness cannot prevail. 

Prior to Sunday’s 10 a.m. closing Mass, Source + Summit participants heard from multiple speakers and had dedicated time for prayer. Speakers at the retreat included Paul J. Kim, Giancarlo Bernini, Father Giles Barrie, Diocese of Evansville Father Sudhakar Bhastati and Diocese of Evansville Father Tyler Tenbarge. Participants also heard from Brother Damien Joseph from the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal and from the Nashville Dominicans. 

Father Giles Barrie of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal distributes Communion during Mass at last weekend’s Source and Summit. The Message photo by John Rohlf

Shetler said participants attended Mass daily and had time for prayer every day. They prayed the Rosary and had time for Adoration each day. 

She stressed the focus of the retreat is to provide an environment where youth and young adults can experience Christ. 

“A lot of our team members are young adults so they're very in touch with the spirituality and the needs of our young people,” Shetler said. “And so really the main thing is having that desire to serve our youth and to know that you can bring Christ to them by providing them an environment in which they can come and meet him. That's what Source and Summit is.”

Shetler noted many of the participants return to the retreat on a yearly basis. She said a strong number of individuals become young adult team members and are small group facilitators upon completing high school or even during their senior year. 

“We're grateful for the most part of our weekend is that we have our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ present in the Monstrance in the very middle of the gym and in the very middle of our lives,” Shetler said. “And it's a win-win because you cannot spend any time in front of the Blessed Sacrament without it making a difference in your life. So you put where Jesus is lifted up. There he is amongst them and he's right there. And so he really does all the work…”

For a video recapping the March 8-10 Source + Summit Retreat, visit:

For a video of some of the highlights from Bishop Siegel's homily, visit: