What's Going on at Casa?
New Executive Director
Michael Coffey joined Casa in January as Executive Director, succeeding our founder, Fr. David Shields, S.J. Michael has many years of experience helping organizations integrate faith into their missions, including Interfaith Older Adult Programs, Catholic Charities and many schools. He's an avid student of Ignatian spirituality and of ways to liberate the good (and God) in people.On the side, he's an enthusiastic bread baker, bicyclist and abuelo.
We have relocated our administrative offices. Our generous former landlord, Notre Dame School, needed our space for an expansion project. We have moved our offices across the street to the St. Joseph Center which also serves as the home of the School Sisters of St. Francis. The sisters have welcomed us warmly and are making their spacious facility available for our ministry.
Fr. David now has time to devote his energies in a more pastoral direction. His new title is "Director of Spiritual Programs" for Casa Romero. Atop his list is reviving our Casa Romero Formation Program for Accompañantes Espirituales that will help form Hispanic adults for retreat leadership and other pastoral ministries. You can reach him at email@example.com. You can also look for his wise reflections in future editions of this newsletter.
Peek at the summer - Art Camp, Soccer Camp and MC & ME Camp
Casa Romero was a busy place this summer. Soccer, music and art camps served as the vehicles for dozens of young people from the city to have their dignity affirmed and to develop their sense of confidence for renewing this world using their God-given gifts.
Visual Arts become the vehicle for relationship building and mentoring during Casa Romero's Art Camp. In additions to Casa staff and university students, Casa youth leaders accompany the younger participants through the art, community-building and reflection experiences. Becoming a teen leader has become a sough-after role in Casa Romero community - a wonderful sign that these young people are yearning for ways to exercise leadership and to guide others to purposeful, significant lives.
How one of our core practices gets passed along
Personal reflection by Carlos Beltrán, Retreat Coordinator
During the 2018 Casa Romero Renewal Center Soccer Camps, I implemented a new routine in the daily lives of the high school boys that attended. Around 3pm every day, the whole camp participated in 15 minutes of self-reflection. I was first introduced to the "examen" at Nativity Jesuit Middle School and it continued to be a part of my life throughout my time at Marquette University High School. In the beginning, the examen served as a literal break from my hectic athletic and academic schedule. It quickly grew into a very important part of my life. Not only was it a time for me to look at how my day was going, but it was a time to look at the path my life was heading in and how that lined up with the goals and dreams. It was a beautiful gift I was given that I decided to share with the 44 young men. It will calibrate matters in their present lives so that their current circumstances do not limit their possibilities and potential.
Twenty middle and high school girls spent two weeks together at Casa to share their experiences within our society as young Latina or African American women. Role models helped them engage in social analysis. And through creating poetry and music they found the "voice" to articulate their insights and aspirations. As they proceed through our culture that places significant hurdles in the way of women and minorities, these young women emerge with more confidence and grit to face those challenges.