By Amanda Tarantelli

Hey CLI! Happy Anniversary! Thirty years old?? You look so young! Technically this year would be the 31st anniversary of CLI but since 2020 does not count in the aging process, we will say that we are celebrating the 30th anniversary of CLI. If you have not heard about CLI, it stands for Christian Leadership Institute. It is a week-long program offered for high school age youth of the diocese. During this week the young people work in community to build up and refine their leadership skills. They will go to workshops on subjects like communication, group dynamics and consensus seeking. They will use the skills they learn each day to plan a part of the day. At the end of the week, they will use everything they have learned to plan a larger event. Over the 30 years it has been events that they do at their parishes, the Diocesan Youth Convention, and most recently, the Diocesan Youth Day. But we do not just put the young people to work! Every day they have a block of free time where they can swim in the lake, play sports, or take a nap if needed. And every evening we have social time planned by one of the groups when the whole community comes together to have fun.

I, myself, am not a CLI grad (I did graduate from YCLI in the Diocese of Providence though) but I have been on team for 11 of the last 13 CLIs. I am now an assistant director for the program, however the first one I was supposed to be a director for was last year so we know how that went! Being a part of the team I have been blessed to see the fruits of this program. As the Campus Minister at Bishop Stang, I have sent students every year because I know how impactful this program is! I have seen the bonds that have formed over the years between the candidates and the lifelong friendships that have continued. I have met some of my closest friends from being on team together. There is something different about friendships that are built in Christ. They take on a whole new meaning. 

As we celebrate our 30th plus one anniversary, we felt it was about time to get everyone back together. Since the strength of the CLI program is community, what better way to celebrate the program than to bring the community back together! This June 26 we will be having a CLI reunion from the past 30 years! It will be held at Cathedral Camp to add to the nostalgia of bringing everyone back together. We will start with Mass at 6 p.m. so we ask that people arrive around 5:30 p.m. so we can check everyone in before Mass. After Mass we will have dinner and fellowship that will include fire pits (weather permitting). We are hoping this will be a great opportunity to remember the great experiences that CLI provided and a chance to connect with old friends. 

If you are a CLI grad or would like to attend to learn more about it, please contact David Carvalho to let him know you are attending by emailing him at dcarvalho@dioc-fr.org. 

If you are a grad and have some pictures from your CLI experience, please email them to me at atarantelli@bishopstang.com.

Hope to see so many grads at the reunion and please pray for the continued success of CLI!