Click here for the most recent testimonials.
have said about their time at Jericho:
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.
also helped myself in so many different ways...it gave me a deeper
understanding of myself and the role of religion and
spirituality in my life.”
Jason Counsel, Placentia, Newfoundland
excellent opportunity! It provided me with some time away to do
something I felt was worthwhile. I felt drawn to Jericho.....it
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.
was truly fantastic.
Marty Ziebart, Kamloops,
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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,
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,
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)
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,
The day was productive. I enjoyed it. (Gr.
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.
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,
TORCH LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE - 2002
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 action
what we had learned. Not one person came out of it without
learning about themselves and others."