50th ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION
WHEN: June 12-14, 2015
WHERE: Our Lady of the Snows Shrine - Belleville, Illinois
Click here to view Our Lady of the Snows Shrine's website, where you can see pictures of the beautiful space in which we have the honor of celebrating.
WHAT: The TEC Weekend is said to be a catalyst or spark which sets into motion not only the faith lives of its participants, but the entire TEC movement within a diocese. As we say, TEC is a spiritual movement, not an event.
SPARK . . . PRAY, PLAY, SHARE: Following the same model, we planned a series of "Sparks" throughout our celebration which led into smaller breakouts which helped participants to dive deeper into our TEC experience and the theme of the preceding "spark" event. Following each spark was a smaller experience which is either specifically spiritual (pray), social (play) or designed for personal sharing or TEC resource sharing (share).
WHO: Our keynote speaker was Steve Angrisano, a powerful singer, song writer, and storyteller. Also in attendance was Archbishop Schwietz of Anchorage, Alaska; Bishop Emeritus Schlarmann of Dodge City, KS and originally from Belleville, IL; and Fr. Matthew Fedewa, cofounder of TEC.
Also joining us were Orin Johnson and Shannon Cerneka of Oddwalk Ministries.
2015 Award Winners
2015 Heritage Award
Brian and Ronda Mathiowetz
Brian and Ronda Mathiowetz made their first TEC weekend at Riverbend TEC #39 in Minnesota, 1983, at the urging of their pastor, Fr. Denny Labat. Since then, both have been strong supporters of Riverbend TEC, serving both on teams and on the leadership council. Riverbend TEC has benefited from their dedicated service, as the couple continues to encourage youth to step up and take on leadership positions within the community. The strong foundation of their Catholic faith is visible in their service to TEC, for which so many are grateful. Brian and Ronda are true examples of servant leaders, always willing to support, advise, and empower new leaders. In 1998, they were nominated by Riverbend TEC to receive the Spirit of TEC Award, a well-deserved nomination that celebrated their commitment to this movement. Outside of TEC, the two have been involved in their parish, in the Diocese of New Ulm, and with the San Lucas Mission supported by the Diocese of New Ulm. Brian is serving on the new leadership team for the Friends of San Lucas.
In addition to their local TEC involvement, Ronda and Brian Mathiowetz have also been very involved at the state, regional, and national levels of the TEC Conference. Their service began shortly after the TEC Conference hosted its first “Training the Trainers” workshops based on the revised national TEC Manual, and the first Renewing the Vision of TEC workshops began. From 1999 to 2003, Ronda and Brian stepped forward to serve on the TEC Conference Leadership Council as State Representatives for Minnesota. Within a year, Brian began serving on the Finance Ministry Team, a ministry that he has continued serving for 15 consecutive years. He first served on the Leadership Team from 2001 to 2003, helping to make important decisions related to the staffing and growth of the TEC Conference. During this same period, Ronda served on RTV workshop teams as a trainer in Region 8 and beyond, supporting the growing ministry of the TEC Conference and often providing music and assistance with liturgy and prayer. As Minnesota representatives, Ronda and Brian were very influential in building and strengthening relationships between the TEC communities in Region 8 (including Minnesota, South Dakota, North Dakota, and Canada).
From 2003 to2007, Brian served as Co-Region 8 Coordinator with Janice Kilgore. He continued his service on the TEC Conference Leadership Team from 2008 to 2014, serving as Chair from 2011 to 2014. The Mathiowetz family hosted the TEC Conference Leadership Council at their property in Paynesville, MN, for the Fall meeting in 2009, 2010 and 2011; and the Summer Council Meeting at their home in Leavenworth, MN in 2012. Brian was on Council during these meetings, and Ronda helped to prepare meals and keep Council members comfortable.
In the spirit of TEC, we thank Ronda and Brian Mathiowetz for witnessing the Paschal Mystery to us through their lived example of faith and service. Through their untiring witness and commitment, and through their vibrant and loving marriage, they have enriched the TEC Movement. As servant leaders, they have individually and together strengthened the TEC, locally and nationally, during many years of transition and growth. It is our honor to present them with the Heritage Award in thanks for their years of service. Brian and Ronda, may God’s hundredfold blessing be upon each of you.
Bishop Stanley G. Schlarman
Today we honor Bishop Stanley G. Schlarman with the Friend of TEC Award. Bishop Schlarman has been an invaluable leader in the formation of TEC throughout the years. Born in Belleville, Illinois, he was ordained a priest in 1958 and appointed as Auxiliary Bishop of his hometown in 1979. After attending his first TEC retreat in Quincy, Illinois, he was inspired to bring his experience back home to Belleville, in 1973. Known as Sparta TEC, the movement grew and flourished, with Fr. Schlarman being named as the first chairman of the “Diocese TEC Committee.”
When he was appointed bishop of Dodge City, Kansas, in 1983, Bishop Schlarman took his love of TEC with him. With the help of youth director Steven Polley, the two created Dodge City TEC in 1994, where it continues to touch lives more than 30 years later. Bishop Schlarman was present at every single TEC retreat in the diocese, showing his devotion and love for these encounters with Christ.
Bishop Schlarman’s commitment to TEC manifests itself in many ways. Beyond planting the seeds for both Belleville TEC and Dodge City TEC, he was a key leader in the formation of the National TEC Conference. He also served as the Episcopal Moderator of the Conference from 1981-1984. In 2007, he received the Spirit of TEC Award for Belleville TEC, and he has continued to be an inspiration for those whose lives he has touched with his hard work. His love of Christ is evident in his love of working with youth, to whom he has dedicated so much of his religious life. We are pleased to honor Bishop Schlarman for his many years of work and for his influence in TEC.
It is a great honor for the TEC Conference to commemorate Dorothy Gereke (1924-2014) as the first inductee of the Memorare Circle. Along with Fr. Matthew Fedewa, Dorothy helped to co-found TEC, bringing countless people the joy of a personal encounter with Christ. As Sr. Mary Concetta, she experienced some of the first TEC retreats that Fr. Matt hosted in Battle Creek, Michigan. She assisted Fr. Matt in working out many of the practical details that would build a TEC weekend, attending to the structure of the retreat.
Known affectionately as “Mama TEC,” Dorothy was surprised to learn that TEC retreats were still in effect after being contacted to speak at TEC’s 20th Anniversary celebration. She became re-involved with the movement and committed herself to helping others experience TEC. Dorothy often used her own funds to send people on retreats, and she was determined to start a TEC community in Florida, where she lived. She also established Koinonia, a retreat movement for older adults.
Dorothy considered all those who had attended TEC to be her children, and she loved TEC and its participants enormously. Our gratitude for her work and dedication to TEC can never be fully expressed. With deep thanks for her life, we proudly induct Dorothy into the Memorare Circle.
The many ways in which Br. Anthony has served TEC show how passionate he was about the TEC Movement. From his help in designing our current logo to attending the 40th Anniversary, he had a true fire in his heart for TEC.
Our third inductee into the Memorare Circle is Colette Kennett (1951-2014). In 1979, she was hired at the recommendation of Bishop Stanley G. Schlarman as the CYO Director of the Diocese of Belleville, Illinois, a position she held for 31 years. Her work in youth ministry involved her in a variety of events, including TEC. She served as the Chairperson of Belleville TEC’s retreat board, directing weekends and showing her heart of service as a team member. Colette went on to help found the Residents Encounter Christ (REC) retreat program in Belleville, which brings a TEC-like retreat to correctional facilities.
Beyond her work at her local TEC community, Colette also served at the national level. The first Executive Director of the TEC Conference, Sr. Mary Neurohr, hired Colette as secretary for the Conference in 1981. She had also led workshops for other communities and gave keynote addresses at various national gatherings and National TEC Conventions.
Known for her big heart and even bigger faith, Colette was and is loved by many who knew her through her diocesan work and her commitment to TEC. She attended our 40th Anniversary gathering, and we are proud to induct her at our 50th.