Welcome to the TEC History page! Learn more about TEC's history below.
In the afterglow of the Second Vatican Counsel, Fr. Matt Fedewa, a priest of the Diocese of Lansing, Michigan, designed a retreat experience to focus the essentials of the Catholic faith for older adolescents. As a teacher of a senior class, Fr. Fedewa was well aware of the disenchantment of youth. The initiative for his work was informed, in part, by his experience in adult faith communities like the Cursillo movement. Two insights contributed greatly to Fr. Fedewa’s development of the new Teens Encounter Christ Retreat:
1. Ministry to youth in America needed to adopt the approach of missionary catechesis, which meant that the Good News should be presented within the context of youth culture.
2. Many youth have been sacramentalized without having been initiated into the faith. There was a need for young people to experience the core truths of the faith.
The first TEC weekend was held in October 1965 on the campus of the Sisters of Mercy Hospital in Battle Creek, Michigan, where Sr. M. Concetta, RSM (now Dorothy Gereke), the administrator of the hospital, hosted and assisted in refining details. In the following years, the movement met with great success in the Lansing diocese and was shared with many other dioceses. Today 80 TEC programs are active in 59 dioceses, including several outside the United States.TEC first arrived in Southwest Indiana in 1991. The movement was founded with great enthusiasm. Since that date, the Southwest Indiana TEC movement has offered over 80 weekend retreats, touching thousands of lives. Southwest Indiana TEC counts as active community members: priests, religious brothers and sisters, married couples, single men and women, as well as hundreds of young adults and teens.Southwest Indiana TEC is organized under the Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministry of the Evansville Diocese. It is guided by a core group of community members who work with the Diocesan Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry for the benefit of the whole Southwest Indiana community. Southwest Indiana TEC currently offers four retreats each year, which are staffed by a priest, and a trained team of former TEC retreatants.
In 1997, the National Manual for TEC was presented to Pope John Paul II by Archbishop Roger Scwietz, OMI (TEC Episcopal Moderator), Rev. James Brown, OAR, Rev. Matt Fedewa and Dorothy Gereke. This revised manual was implemented in Southwest Indiana in 1999. In 2005, TEC celebrated the 40th Anniversary of its founding. Several members of the Southwest Indiana TEC movement traveled to Belleville, Illinois for the festivities.
TEC offers to youth and young adults the opportunity to encounter and integrate the Paschal Mystery at a time of passage into young adulthood. What the Church celebrates annually through the seasons of Lent-Easter-Pentecost and through the sacraments of initiation, TEC condenses into a three-day experience.
It provides a lived experience of the essential truths of our faith, drawing youth/young adults to a commitment to Christ and empowering them to live as disciples of Jesus Christ in our world today. Through evangelization and catechesis, this intergenerational movement facilitates spiritual growth of youth and young adults within a community of adult mentors.