The San Damiano Encounter for youth was held July 24-29 at Cardinal Stritch University. (Submitted photos)

Seventeen participants from Catholic high schools throughout the Archdiocese of Milwaukee participated in the San Damiano Encounter at Cardinal Stritch University from July 24-29.

The week-long summer residential program for youth is called the San Damiano Encounter in reference to the chapel where St. Francis of Assisi first heard a call from God to rebuild the Church. The program blends theological content, leadership development, and service learning, with an emphasis on mission and vocation.

Portiuncula Fraternity donated $150 to help needy youth offset the cost so that they may attend.

During the Franciscan Witness Panel on July 27, representatives from local Franciscan communities shared with the youth about their Franciscan presence, ministry, values and charism (Secular Franciscan Order, Franciscan Friars, School Sisters of St Francis, Felician Sisters, Capuchin Friars, Little Sisters of St Francis, Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity). Students had the opportunity to ask questions and socialize with the Franciscans and then spent the evening in meditation and Eucharistic adoration with the opportunity for confession.