CLAY Lenten retreat helps mold freshmen and sophomores to live as Jesus’ disciples

Want to be molded at a CLAY retreat? High school freshmen and sophomores interested in attending the one-day Christ’s Light in All Youth retreat on Saturday, March 9, at St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Garden Plain may register at Click on High School Ministries. The event will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Garden Plain is 20 miles west of downtown Wichita on U.S. 400. To register, visit For more information, contact David Walker at [email protected] or 316-269-3940 ext. 118.

Fr. H Setter hopes to remold CLAY into a Lenten undertaking for high school freshmen and sophomores.

CLAY, an acronym for Christ’s Light in All Youth, is all about allowing God to shape you the way God envisions us to be shaped and better ourselves,” he said.

The retreat focuses on the 18th chapter of Jeremiah which refers to a potter and how God is shaping the people of Israel.

A potter demonstrates

“Not only do they talk about it and discuss things from a scriptural and spiritual point of view, but we also have a potter that comes in and actually throws clay and does the whole process of it,” Fr. Setter said.

“They get to see it in action, and then they get to mess around with the clay themselves, creating a work of their own.. We spend a lot of time discussing our own spirituality – especially as a freshman or sophomore student.”

It is critical youth begin to mold their lives as God wants them molded – now more than ever, he said.

“I have a feeling sometimes that a lot of younger people think Lent is for old people. It’s just as important for them – maybe even more important – to have some direction and spiritual development in their lives. They’re facing a big set of circumstances.”

Youth make adult decisions

Older adults are facing similar circumstances, Fr. Setter said, but not to the extent the youth face. “I tell young children all the time – even on the CLAY retreat – you are making adult decisions long before you’re a legal adult by state standards.”

One of the challenges teens face is the use of social media, he said.

“It should not own us, it should not own any of us, in particular young people, because there’s much more to offer in this world than social media,” Fr. Setter said.

“That’s where a retreat experience can help. It doesn’t condemn social media, but it allows us to put it in perspective. The retreat experience is just a day. In that one day, we can offer a lot to help. Our freshman and sophomore students realize that keeping up with what’s the latest in social media trends doesn’t always run consistent with God’s way of thinking. We need more voices for our young people to point out that so much of what they’re being subjected to is contradictory to the gospel.”

David Walker, coordinator of Youth and Young Adult Events, said a CLAY retreat is designed to prompt young people to reflect on their relationship with God when they are entering adulthood.

“We want them to open themselves up to what God is calling them to do and who God is calling them to be. We get serious and go deep into our faith, but we have a lot of fun along the way.”