Tuesday, December 20, 2011


If I were to sum up Catholic Heart Workcamp in one word, I would definitely have to say “Extremes”. I have been working for CHWC for the past 6 years either as a Staff member or a Musician and have been to almost 50 camps across this beautiful country of ours and the one thing that my stands out in my mind is how extreme my experiences have been.

There are many different aspects of Catholic Heart, all of which are important threads in the fabric that make the experience so wonderful. There are Tacos, camouflage, prayers, skits, dancing, sun, paint, floors, spotlights, ladders… I could go on, but I’m sure you have other things to do today. Every single one of these elements are things that CHWC and all those involved, from the campers to the office staff, go Full Tilt on. Nothing is held back and it is always all or nothing. For me, the parts that have kept me going all these years can be found on Tuesday and Wednesday nights at camp.

Dance Party. Even typing that word makes my heart beat a little faster and sweat bead on my forehead. I love to dance, and the Tuesday night dance party is a marathon of awesomeness that gets everyone up out of their seats and get their hearts a-bumpin’. I cannot think of anywhere else in the world that has such a high octane and energy driven event. For those 20+ minutes, I feel like nothing can touch me and I have gone to a different place where hip shaking and arm waving is the international language of love. When it’s all over, I just want to fall down and enter into hibernation. It is such a joyful and wonderful experience that takes me to my limits in my energy and ability to keep dancing.

The next night takes on a much different feel with Four Corners. This is a much different extreme than what we were feeling the night before. Instead of strobe lights, there are candles; instead of dancing, prayers; instead of sweat, there are tears. Four Corners, a night dedicated to prayer and healing, is an experience that can’t truly be described. It is moving and powerful. In the same way I feel the spirit of dance moving through me the night before, I feel the Holy Spirit moving through the room during Four Corners. I am always amazed by this experience. It is a reverent and faith focused time of prayer and reflection. People there have no inhibitions and leave their hearts on their sleeves, open for the Will of God. Everyone there comes from a different background and has had different experiences, but at Four Corners, we are all God’s children. I have talked to and prayed with students whose faiths have put mine to shame, who are struggling with the same things I did, who are so desperately in love with God it cannot be put into words. There in that space, God is present. And God is Extreme.

When we talk about experiences, we often talk about our highs and our lows. What are the great things in our lives and the things that are not so great? At Catholic Hearts, these extremes are my eternal High. I have seen amazing things that have changed me as a person and a Christian. I have met people who have affected my life and challenged me to do better. I have been called to live every day, my faith and my life to the extremes. To not leave anything behind in this world, to leave my cards on the table, so that when I get to heaven, I’m prepared for the dance party that I know it’s gonna be.

Jon Pressimone
Click here to listen to Jon's new CD, "My Father's Apple Tree"

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