Special to The Message
The Diocese of Evansville Vocations Office sponsored a May 5-7 retreat for young men involved in the Savio group and their fathers. The weekend included celebration of the May 6 Feast of St. Dominic Savio.
Gasper River Catholic Youth Camp in Warren County, Kentucky, near Bowling Green, hosted the retreat, which actually began in Evansville with a surprise for Diocesan Director of Vocations Father Tyler Tenbarge, who also serves as Director and Chaplain of the Father Deydier House of Discernment.
Father Tyler planned to celebrate Mass May 5 at St. Boniface Parish’s Sacred Heart Church, whose campus is home to the House of Discernment, before everyone boarded a bus for the trip to Gasper River. Members of the Savio Group asked him to leave the sacristy for a presentation before Mass began.
Savio members and their families ordered vestments – a chasuble and stole – for presentation to Father Tyler, and they obtained an embroidered patch with the image of St. Dominic Savio from Italy, which was sewn into the back of the chasuble. Bishop Joseph M. Siegel blessed the vestments April 28 in the chapel of the Sarto Retreat Center, adjacent to the Diocese of Evansville Catholic Center.
Savio members Dominic McKenzie, Evan Sexton and James Elpers publicly thanked Father Tyler for his service to the diocese – and especially to the Savio group – and presented the chasuble and stole to him at Sacred Heart.
Father Tyler said, “I was sincerely surprised. I had no idea the Savio guys and parents had been working together to make and give me such a nice gift. Keeping a few hundred people quiet for months while making a vestment would have been no small task! I am so grateful for the guys and their families, and I am so blessed in my ministries as a priest.”
Father Tyler explained that the annual father-son retreat started in 2022. There was no theme for the 2023 gathering, but there were four intentional father-son discussions scheduled during the weekend:
- general catching up on life, since most of us are so busy
- fathers sharing with their sons their own experiences with their dads and what it is like to try to be a good father
- sons sharing with their dads what they see in them
- what each is hoping to find in God the Father and Jesus the Son
The weekend also included meals, activities, a father-son competition over a series of minute-to-win-it style games, and lots of free time to hike, fish, read, talk and unwind.