So here we are, less than a week until One Bread One Cup - Conference 4 takes place at Conception Abbey! I am sure you are all incredibly excited about the upcoming week, and to tell the truth I am too. The week is full of so many moments that well, I just can't wait to experience, with and alongside all of you. And to experience your growth in your relationships with Christ and His pilgrim Church on Earth?... it's an incredible time.
But before we load up and head out we need to probably review a few things especially dress code, code of conduct and those forms we need returned!
Probably the biggest item of concern, question, stress, worry and anxiety (especially from the young women in our group) has to be around what to wear. The One Bread One Cup dress code is on the more modest side compared to many of the retreats and conferences we attend. But I feel it's a welcome challenge and a fruit of the retreat week is that it makes us all a bit more aware of how we approach the Mass and how we represent ourselves to the greater community.
So without further ado, here is the Dress Code from OBOC:
Modest and simple attire is expected. The following items may not be worn for any indoor activity during the conference:
Please do not bring shirts that have offensive illustrations or terminology, pants or jeans that have holes.
During Conference Liturgies:
Male participants are to wear appropriate shirts (collared or polo shirts) and long pants.
Ladies clothing should cover shoulders, décolletage (cleavage), and knees. Absolutely no tights are permitted unless they are covered by a skirt.
For Mass on Day 5 of the conference dressier attire would be suitable and is encouraged. T-shirts are never appropriate during liturgy except for the Conference t-shirt on Day 1.
For us in Wyoming we may immediately think "Hey wait, what about jeans at Mass?" And if you are anything like me your jeans may be the most expensive item in your wardrobe :) But that is a guideline of the OBOC dress code: No Jeans or T-Shirts at the Mass. Now you can wear jeans and t-shirts at most any other activity during the week: talks, prayer, meals, dances, etc. And the first Mass of the week they actually allow us to wear our T-Shirts and jeans as we take our group photo immediately after. But aside from that one Mass, it's a pretty strict No Jeans and No T-Shirt policy when it comes to The Liturgy and also Vespers in the Archabbey.
So instead of focusing on what we can't wear, let's instead focus on what we can wear at Liturgy:
I worked also on a Pinterest Board, you can find that here!
**Also you should have received a letter with stated dress code from OBOC, you can also read that here!**
For Young Women (and us Adult Chaperones) here are some suggestions for Mass
Maxi Skirts (big item here)
Dress Capris that aren't denim
Knee Length Skirts
Cotton or Khaki Pants (another big item; not tight fitting but loose almost hiking pants; then the more formal khaki chinos)
Collared Shirts: Polos, Boat Neck Style Summer Sweaters etc. (So long as it isn't sleeveless and isn't v-necked)
Dresses (again, not sleeveless unless you have a shrug or light sweater, and not V-Necked)
Closed Toe Shoes (not modesty related, safety related!); ballet style flats are very popular throughout the week, or closed toed sandals or dress shoes/heels.
For Young Men
Something to keep in mind is that the last mass is a dressier affair. So you may want to pack a nicer outfit for the last Mass of the week!
What Else Should You Pack Clothes Wise?
Cotton Tee-Shirts (Youth Leadership Team pack your St. James shirts; the Diocese will also supply a shirt to keep and a shirt to trade; any personal shirt you pack should be free of any profane language, crude symbols etc. use good judgement here on what t-shirts you pack)
Button Down Shirts - long or short sleeved (I'm bringing a travel steamer so if you need any items 'de-wrinkled' please pass them to me at least the afternoon before you need to wear!)
Hoodies (the evening temps are set to get into the low 70s and upper 60s, with humidity this can be a bit chilly so packing one light hoodie may be a good idea.)
Knee Length Cotton or Denim Shorts
Hat for the Crazy Hat Dance/Party
Athletic Wear (if you plan on say going for a morning jog, working out etc. while on retreat. Last year all participants had access to the gym facilities and running trails at Meinrad so I am assuming this will also be available at Conception)
What Else Should You Pack?
Phone Chargers!!! (please bring a charger for your phone. You won't use it a great deal during the day but it's one of the primary ways we coordinate as a group. I will have a couple of extras plus a portable charger in case of emergencies, but if you have a different version of a phone I may not be able to accommodate so best to bring your own or a spare.)
Extra Cash (we will stop for food on the way there and on the way back, plus our group spent quite a bit of time in the Abbey gift shops last year!)
Toiletries!!! (I'm bringing an added supply just in case but you may want to bring some sunscreen, band-aids, antibiotic ointments, etc. if you think you might need as well as bug bite treatment - travel sizes also are encouraged)
Camera (If you don't have a phone with a camera, you may want to bring a one shot or digital camera to take photos throughout the week when you have a chance)
Bible (If you have it on your phone or iPad/Tablet great, if not a pocket Gospel or other Bible is a good idea for reflection and silent prayer)
Rosary - (Always good to travel with one of these!)
Journal - (There's a lot of great material covered throughout the week, you won't want to miss writing down notes to review and reflect on later!)
Refillable water bottle (It's going to be HOT! during the week. We in Wyoming know how important it is to stay hydrated, please please please drink water throughout the week!)
Reading and prayer materials (we will be supplied a Shorter Christian Prayer for use during the week, and returning participants should maybe bring theirs from previous years)
Musical Instrument (If Applicable - Youth assigned to Instrumental Music are asked to bring their musical instruments. The chapel is equipped with a piano and electronic organ.)
**During the conference, you will be provided a single bed, pillow, bed linens, towels and washcloths. If you want any added items from home or for the bus ride over: pillow etc. you may want to bring it along.**
Okay So What Else?
We are working on a final itinerary write-up but what you really need to know is here:
July 16th, 2017
Depart from Saint James Catholic Church in Douglas, WY
We will leave Douglas no later than 5:45 am on Sunday July 16th!
We will then travel to Cheyenne to attend Mass at St. Mary's Cathedral at 8:00 am. Please make sure you have breakfast before getting in the cars to go to Cheyenne as we unfortunately won't have time to stop on the way. I will have some snacks (Quest Bars, etc.) but not a breakfast in the strictest sense ;)
After Mass we will then board the Charter Bus bound for Conception, MO. We will stop somewhere in Nebraska to eat (probably like a McDs or similar so bring Cash!) and then keep on until we reach the Abbey around midnight.
July 17th, 2017
Since OBOC does not begin check-in until Monday afternoon, on Monday morning we will visit the Benedictine Sisters of Perpetual Adoration in Cylde, MO.
They have a beautiful chapel as well as over 550 documented relics of Saints and other religious items for across the world that survived WWI. http://www.clydemonastery.org/
We will then head into Marysville for lunch (on your own). St. James Youth Group we will all choose a respective spot to dine together if possible.
After this we will check-in, register and then the week really begins in earnest. Each participant will receive a daily itinerary specific to their area of study. Youth will be one one tract, adults another. We do overlap frequently throughout the day though especially for meal times, talks, etc.
-- Return Trip --
July 21st, 2017
We will board the charter bus headed for Cheyenne right after the final Mass on the 21st. We will stop for a meal in Nebraska. Our slated return time to Cheyenne is 11pm in the evening of the 21st.
**We are working on our return trip plans at present (specifically our plans for returning from Cheyenne to Douglas) and will have an update in the coming day!**
As for Code of Conduct Forms
You should have all received forms from the Diocese that are specific to travel permissions and Code of Conduct, if not let Nicole or I know and we will surely get you copies post haste. We need to have these signed this week and we can take them directly with us to Cheyenne. If you would like to send them with your youth group member to this week's Wednesday evening activities that is of course welcome and we will collect them as we can. We do need them though before we set out on our adventure!