Young adults invited on backpack adventure with monks and nuns

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Eagle Eye Alaska is an innovative annual hike and retreat that takes young adults into Alaska’s backcountry in an effort to inspire and reconnect them to the practices, sacraments and prayers of the Catholic faith.

The upcoming Eagle Eye retreat, for ages 20-35, takes place July 10-19. The yearly trek includes priests and religious from the Community of St. John who attend the backpacking trip and provide formation throughout the weeklong retreat.

In past years religious sisters have also joined the retreats.

This year’s event starts with a 24-mile hike across Crow Pass — part of the historic Iditarod Trail outside of Anchorage. Along the mountain trails, hikers will take part in daily Liturgy of the Hours, Mass and prayerful dialogue.

“We’ll brave the challenges of crossing the glacial water of Eagle River and discover God in the beauty of Alaskan wilderness,” the website states.

Eagle Eye participants should be able to carry a backpack filled with personal and group gear and weighing about 40 pounds for the duration of the hike. Cell phone service is unreliable during the hike and the camping areas have no facilities.

“You must be in shape and fit enough to walk steeply uphill continuously for three miles carrying a 40 pound backpack,” the website says. “A good attitude is required.”

At the conclusion of the hike, participants will stay at the Holy Spirit Center, a mountainside Catholic retreat center overlooking Anchorage. During this portion of the retreat, monks from the Community of St. John will lead classes on theology, philosophy and Lectio divina — praying with Scripture.

According to the Eagle Eye website, the entire retreat takes on the rhythm and liturgical life of the Community of St. John.

“The days are dynamic and thought-provoking,” the website notes. “This is your chance to discern your place as a young adult in the church as well as to search for truth and why it is important.”

For more information, contact Rachel or David Andres at eagleeyealaska@gmail.com or (907) 349-1258. Additional information is available on the Eagle Eye website: eagleeyeministries.org/ya.


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