Largest YCP Retreat in the Country Gathers Over 220 Young Adults

by Sarah Kuenzi and YCP Staff
As featured on Portland Archdiocese

On Saturday, March 2nd, the Portland Chapter of Young Catholic Professionals welcomed over 220 young adults to their annual Lenten Retreat at Mount Angel Abbey led by Archbishop Alexander Sample. This marked not only the largest YCP Portland event in its 6-year history but the largest retreat ever hosted by any of the 40 YCP chapters across the country.

Despite snow flurries throughout the day, young adults traveled to the hilltop from at least 47 parishes as far south as Eugene, OR, and as far north as Vancouver, WA. The day included time for prayer, Mass, Confession, Adoration, talks, and fellowship. Among the many retreat volunteers were seminarians from the Archdioceses of Portland and Seattle, priests and religious from 6 local orders, and especially the Benedictine monks who assisted with Confession and various liturgies.

As the keynote speaker, Archbishop Alexander Sample encouraged the young adults to let their lives be transformed by Jesus Christ, especially in the season of Lent when we are invited to turn back to God. In his homily during Mass he spoke of the incredible love that God the Father has for us, and at the end of the retreat invited the young adults to participate in the powerful liturgies throughout Holy Week. Archbishop Sample also guided them in how to pray for one another in small groups, which was a moving experience for many.

One of the most powerful moments of the day was a Eucharistic procession, led by Archbishop Sample, around the Abbey hilltop during a providential break in the day’s snowy weather. Grace Hincapie, YCP’s Director of Evangelization, shares, “Experiencing the Eucharistic procession, led by our Shepherd, was a moment of heaven meeting earth. It’s like the Lord was showing me through the tangible symbolism of the procession that I must go out onto the different routes that life will take, always taking the Lord with me, and gathering others along the way, to eventually bring others home to His Church. I believe this is the call He has for all of the young adults here in the Archdiocese of Portland.”

After the retreat, many attendees shared their renewed sense of joy and hope after experiencing the grace of the Sacraments, spending the day with Archbishop Sample, and gathering together with so many other young adults who share their faith. Chris Dowhaniuk, Chapter President, says, “It’s very telling that this was the largest YCP retreat ever recorded of any YCP retreat in the country while we had the presence of the Archbishop and a Eucharistic procession. I often describe YCP Portland as unifying this age segment of the Body of Christ, and what better tangible example of unification than a Eucharistic procession led by our Shepherd and successor to the Apostles? In a day and age when being a young adult Catholic has its challenges, this retreat instilled a sense of encouragement and confidence in their faith, while simultaneously experiencing the healing power of Christ.”

All young adults in their 20s and 30s, regardless of their career field, are invited to grow in faith and community through Young Catholic Professionals and encouraged to learn about their monthly events at

(All Photo Credit: Mack Alano)

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