July 24, 2017
NEWBURGH, N.Y. -
Campers play a rousing game of soccer with members of the
Sisters of Life recently at Camp Veritas, hosted on the Mount Saint
Mary College campus.
The Mount Saint Mary College soccer field buzzed with excitement
as the players jockeyed for control of the ball and fans cheered
enthusiastically from the sidelines.
It was just like any other athletic tournament on the campus –
except this time, the team captains were religious brothers and
sisters, and the players were youths from the tristate area and
The Mount recently hosted Camp Veritas, a weeklong “play and
pray” camp for teenagers in grades 7 through 12. Nearly 500
teenagers attended this year’s camp, which featured recreational
activities, daily Mass, and talks aimed at strengthening the teens’
faith. Campers stayed in the Mount’s spacious dormitories
throughout the week of July 16 and utilized the athletic fields,
basketball court, pool, and conference areas.
Veritas is Latin for “truth,” as in the Mount’s motto: Doce Me
Veritatem, or “Teach me the Truth.”
The Mount has been hosting the camp each summer since 2013.
Friars and sisters from several religious orders, including the
Sisters of Life, the Presentation Sisters, the Franciscan Sisters
of the Renewal, and the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal, were
on-hand to participate in the fellowship and serve as faith role
models for the teenagers.
Bryan Mercier, a Catholic speaker, retreat leader, and one of
the camp’s presenters this year, talked to the teens about the
meaning of life and how to share their faith in the world.
“I love working with the teens of Camp Veritas and helping to
form and inspire them in their faith," he said. “The teens of today
are the church of tomorrow.”
He added that programs like Camp Veritas view the youths as a
resource in improving society.
“We don’t believe that teenagers are the problem in this world –
we believe they are the solution to the problems of this world,” he
Grace Bulcher first attended the program as a camper and has
returned as a volunteer counselor every year since.
“Camp Veritas has been the highlight of my summer for the past
seven years,” she said. “I remember being a camper, looking at the
religious sisters and married counselors and saying, ‘I can’t wait
to find the vocation God has planned for me.’”
Bulcher, a newlywed, added she enjoys guiding the teen campers
on the paths to their own vocations each year.