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Click here for the most recent testimonials.

What others have said about their time at Jericho:

“I needed a break from the university setting...and the Jericho program provided a truly unique experience which gave me a sense of achievement in knowing that I helped others. I also helped myself in so many different gave me a deeper understanding of myself and the role of religion and spirituality in my life.”

Jason Counsel, Placentia, Newfoundland

"An excellent opportunity! It provided me with some time away to do something I felt was worthwhile. I felt drawn to was where I needed to be."

Mary MacLeod, Niagara Falls, Ontario

" I felt restricted with the 9 to 5 routine and my ability to be able to express myself in a more Christian way.... a different direction, and the Jericho community was an overwhelming success in my moving in a different direction. It was truly fantastic.
Marty Ziebart, Kamloops, British Columbia

This retreat was the best day I've had since the beginning of school. The group leaders helped, encouraged and understood us, not just our group leaders but all the group leaders in the room.

It was the best retreat I have had throughout high school. We were allowed to participate instead of sitting around and listening to a speaker. A great way to spend a day.

 Click here for recent photos of Jericho House experiences.

Jericho House 2008 participants' comments

No matter who we are or where we come from, we can all make a difference in the world. We are not just leaders in the future. We are leaders NOW!

SCOEP has helped my relationship with God by letting me learn more about God and letting me talk with God more than I do in a regular day.

SCOEP has helped make me a stronger person and a stronger believer.

We all, as Gr. 10’s, have the right and the opportunity to make a positive change.

What I enjoyed about Family Night was that I got to actually have fun with my family.

I hope I can help others become leaders and stick up for what is right.

SCOEP helped my relationship with God by teaching me more about my faith and talking to us about being a good Christian. I learned the key word of each of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit and what they mean and how I could use those gifts.

I think SCOEP was a great way to help my relationship with God because we had many times when it was quiet, so we could talk to God.

I learned about teamwork, honesty and leadership.

TORCH helped me be a better person and accept people. The value of this conference was all the things I learned. I learned how to get along with other people and how to use my gifts in everything. It helped me realize things that I would never think about on a daily basis.

I learned that there are different gifts, and without one of them it all falls apart.

I hope I can provide leadership to the students, and I hope I can make my school a better place for the students by making the action planning come true.

I have a greater appreciation of letting everyone have a say in a group or in a community.

My day was very productive. At first I did not know it would be this enjoyable. My day turned out to be very exciting and fun. I learned a lot and had a great time while doing the activities.

I learned that it is up to you to make a difference and you can do anything you put your mind and heart to, even if you are only 13.

I respect God’s creation and I will join a group of people that want to stop global warming.

I hope I can set a better example to other students.

TORCH taught me new things, ideas and values. Over all, I think it encouraged me to be a better person and not judge anybody so much. I have come to see that there are tons of things that people should get involved in and become a major part of.

I learned that leadership does not mean that you have to be loud and bossy to everyone.

I learned about the gifts of friendship, caring, grace and responsibility.

I hope I can stand up for kids that are being picked on.

I learned that responsibility goes a long way.

I have the gift of respect. SCOEP taught me to look back to my previous actions and change.

I learned that just because someone is telling you to do something you don’t want to, don’t give in to peer pressure. Be your own leader.

I hope I can prepare the Gr. 7’s to be leaders.

Help make my school more environmentally friendly.

I learned that without the Gifts of the Holy Spirit, the world would be in chaos.

SCOEP has helped my relationship with God by showing me that I can learn about religion/God while having fun and being really interesting.

Participant comments from previous years

Alex is a wonderful leader. He helped us to feel more comfortable in participating in group activities. He also did a little bit more to get to know us to make us feel accepted. Lots of fun! ( Notre Dame, Gr. 9, Brampton, ON.)  

The retreat was a great experience for me. It helped me clear my mind and focus better on what really is important. Notre Dame, Gr. 9,Brampton,ON.)  

This was a great experience for me because I got to express myself, as well as, learn about other people’s thoughts and opinions. Therefore, it was a great learning experience. (Cardinal Leger, Gr. 10, Brampton, ON.)  

I had a great time, I love doing retreats. It’s a great chance to get to know people from younger grades. I hope I was able to make a difference in their day. I hope I get a chance to facilitate again next year. (Cardinal Leger, peer minister, Brampton, ON.)

The experience was great. I would to it again and I wish there was something similar to this on days that are not great. (Cardinal Leger Gr. 10, Brampton, ON.)

SCOEP has helped my relationship with God by making me more aware of the world around me.

SCOEP has helped my relationship with God by making my faith stronger.

I will continue to respect God’s gift of creation by stop worrying about what I don’t have and be thankful for what I do have.

I believe today was a very calm and relaxing day and I believe that there is no better place to relax and enjoy friends, fun, and religion other than the Church. I would continue to recommend to anyone that they attend these retreats. Thank you for a great retreat day. (Notre Dame Gr. 10, Brampton, ON.)

The Torch Conference helped me understand who I am, and my purpose – using my strengths to help in the community. This was a good learning experience for leadership. (Sacred Heart Gr. 10, Newmarket, ON.)

The value of the Torch Conference was very great for me. It made me realize that I had special gifts that I could contribute to a group that I was a part of or, in the future, a group that I will lead. I got to know a lot of people I hadn’t really talked to and I saw them from a different angle and feel that this was very important because I have made a lot of new friends on this conference that I know will be there for me. I just want to say, continue the hard work you put into this conference because it teaches us kids a lot about each other and ourselves. (Sacred Heart Gr. 10, Newmarket, ON))

I felt that I really met some people from the school community that didn’t stand out as much before. Hopefully this Torch experience has spurred a lot of lasting friendships. I feel that I have benefited from this as a leader in the school community and as a Catholic. (Sacred Heart Gr. 10, Newmarket, ON.)

Today was enlightening and restored me spiritually. (Holy Cross, OA, St. Catharines, ON.)

Today was a great day. It gave everyone the chance to express their own personal and societal dreams. It was good to interact with others who we may have not normally. (Holy Cross, OAC, St. Catharines, ON.)

I enjoyed the TORCH Conference very much and it was an incredible experience for me. I not only had an amazing amount of fun, but I also grew and learned very much about myself as a person. TORCH allowed me to further reflect on my own strengths and faults. The most amazing experience was the Horizon Lifters. Thank you. ( Fr. McGivney Gr. 10, Markham, ON.)

I found this to be an amazing program. I learned a lot about trust and caring for others. The best part was when we were put in the shoes of a person in need. (Gr. 10 Fr. McKinney TORCH, Markham, ON.)

My experience here was amazing. I was spiritually connected with everyone and everything. It was a meditation for me. During the past month I have been stressed out with school and work. The Conference helped me to reflect on my life and myself. It bought me close to friends who were just friends in the beginning, but now are close friends. This Torch Conference also gave me the confidence and respect for others and myself. I truly had a fantastic time. (Gr. 10 Fr. McGivney, Markham ,ON)  

My Torch experience here was beyond excellence, it was indescribable. Being with all my friends, different people and coming together as big group and working together with each other. We all care for each other and that made this experience so memorable. (Gr. 10 Fr. McGivney , Markham, On.)

The TORCH Conference had value for me because it made me a better person and a better leader. (Gr. 10 Fr. McGivney, Markham, On.)

TORCH helped me think and work and it a made a change for me. Before I used to be dependent on what friends thought about me, but as a leader I do can think on my own. (Gr. 10 Fr. McGivney, Markham, On.)

With the TORCH Conference, I learn so much about people and it opens my eyes once again. I seem to forget my values and it is a great reminder of what my leadership skills need to be used for. (Gr. 10 Fr. McGovney, Markham, On.)

I think the retreat was a very good experience! It helped me to discover my direction in life, and think about the obstacles I have and will overcome. (Gr. 12, Holy Cross, St. Catharines, On.)

I enjoyed today’s retreat despite the cold. I liked the prayer ritual at the end of the day. The more and more you become involved the better in touch you become with your spirituality. It was a great day! (Gr. 12, Holy Cross, St. Catharines, On.)

It was exciting. Torch was definitely a new and interesting experience. It really opened up my mind to how other people value and practice their faith. I loved the responsibility of having my own group to look after and I learned of a few qualities that I have and never realized I had. (Gr. 11, Our Lady of the Lake, Keswick, On.)

The retreat was very informative, interesting and thought provoking. It really made me think about my life and future. It was educational, yet, fun and entertaining. (Gr. 12, Holy Cross, St. Catharines, ON>)

It was a good day. Very spiritual and relaxing, yet, it made us think deeply and we got to express ourselves. (Gr. 12, Holy Cross, St. Catharines, ON.)

I really enjoyed myself at the retreat today. It opened up self-issues and made me realize how people really are. I learned things about myself, as well as, about others. Thank you very much for the experience and the opportunity. Today is something I will take with me into the future and think about before I act. (Gr. 12, Holy Cross, St. Catharines, On.)

I have a greater appreciation of my gift of right judgment because I realize where I could be without it. (SCOEP May 29, 2002)

I have mostly learned to help out more because so many people need help in the world and there is no excuse. (SCOEP May 29, 2002)  

… peaceful, enjoyable, learned very much, inspiring and it renewed my faith…(Gr. 10, Notre Dame HS, Brampton)  

I had a great experience, very spiritual, much more fun than expected, learned a lot about people and friendships. (Gr. 10, Notre Dame, HS, Brampton)

I think the day was a great experience. I felt accepted and comfortable speaking and presenting to the others. I liked how everyone was always listening to the person who was speaking. (Gr. 9, STA, Brampton)

I really enjoyed my role of leadership in the retreat today. I was not only participating in it, but I was encouraging others to get involved with learning about ourselves and our experiences. I felt good about myself because I was helping others and learning so much about myself at the same time. (Gr. 12. STA, Brampton)

I had a good day. My group was fun and I enjoyed being a facilitator. (Gr. 12, STA, Brampton)  

The day was productive. I enjoyed it. (Gr. 9, STA)

Our day was very good. It was nice to meet new people and get to know them. It was good to get away from everything and talk about obstacles that we cross with in our everyday life. (Gr. 9, STA)

I thought that the retreat was very effective. It taught me how to lead a grade 9 & 10 retreats by teaching me the meaning behind all of the activities and giving me the knowledge of what to do in difficult situations. I enjoyed getting to know other people and I think that everyone should go on a retreat like this so they can meet and know that they are not alone. Thank you for allowing me to have this opportunity.(Gr. 12. DCDSB)

Overall this retreat was a wonderful way to learn how to be a peer minister and to grow spiritually with myself. I thank you very much for this. (Gr. 12, DCDSB)

This helped me to get prepared for facilitating the Grade 10 retreats. Normally I would not know how to control them, but through this workshop I have learned to be a wise, fair and calm leader. These skills will also help me in life, maybe take up the slack at my group meeting where anxiety and tension may prevent members from participating. Grade 12, DCDSB)

As a Chaplain, I found this experience to be very helpful in allowing me to re-focus on my real purpose in retreat ministry-drawing out what is already present, avoiding manipulation , trusting God and letting go. I pray that God gift you with many more years and facilities to inspire students and chaplains alike with your philosophy. (Chaplain, DCDSB)

This was a great experience. I learned a lot about my peers. I also learned to make high school a positive experience. I would love ot do this again. ( Grade 8,St. Thomas More Collegiate, Burnaby, BC)

Today was a very helpful learning experience. I learned a lot about leadership and how to be a role model. (Grade 11, facilitator St. Thomas More C. Burnaby, BC)

This day changed me in many ways. It made me feel good inside. It affected me mentally and physically because it led me to believe that we are unique in a special way. (Gr. 8, St. TMC, Burnaby, BC)  

This was an exciting and new experience. I’m glad I did it. The grade nines overall were well behaved and fun to work with. Great organization on your part. (Gr. 12 Facilitator for the Gr. 9 retreat, Brampton, ON This retreat helped to think if what I make of my faith, reminded me to believe in God, and encouraged me to never stop believing. (GR. 9, St. Thomas Aquinas, Brampton, ON) My day today was fun. Certainly different from what I expected. I would love to do this again. (Gr. 9, St. Thomas Aquinas, Brampton, ON)

Through a peer ministry model, TORCH weaves together leadership, spirituality, and social justice while affirming the inherent leadership of youth. It calls each delegate to participate in concrete action planning and encourages them to apply their leadership within their school and home community.

Marc VanRuyven, one of the over 50 delegates from each of the eight high schools in the Niagara Catholic District School Board said, "TORCH is an incredible experience that has changed my life. There were so many activities that brought God into our lives. I learned that we play an ever so important role in the development of a peaceful globe and … that we can make a difference even in these confusing days. The amazing embrace of God’s love, shining in our community is how I would best describe the TORCH Conference that I have attended."

Josephine Roarco, one of the seven energetic student facilitators, helped make an amazing team. She said, "Being a facilitator was a great experience for me. It felt great to see the love and friendship expressed in people’s lives. The activities consisted of small and large group events that created a wonderful bonding experience. My favorite activity was ‘Horizon Lifters’ where people really opened up and shared so much. Another great activity was the Social Justice Immersion Day where each of us had the opportunity work at a Soup Kitchen, Refugee House, Food Bank, etc. and to put into ac
tion what we had learned. Not one person came out of it without learning about themselves and others."



Copyright Jericho House Youth Leadership, Justice and Spirituality Centre, Wainfleet, Ontario, Canada.
Jericho House is a place for meetings, conferences, retreats, recollection, and quiet time in the Niagara Region.