History of Vida Nueva
Mid-Hudson Vida Nueva’s History starts with TEC – Teens Encounter Christ.
TEC – The word and the exercise had its origin in the Diocese of Lansing, Michigan. The doors of TEC Lodge, 65 Emmett Street, Battle Creek, Michigan, first opened on October 9, 1965. The TEC movement, as we now know it, is an outgrowth of the Pastoral Institute of Loyola University in Chicago.
It was developed and structured by Father Matthew Fedewa and Sister Concetta, R.S.M. The exercise is now conducted on a regular basis in several dioceses in the U.S. The TEC Manual and TEC materials have become the basis of modified, occasional exercises in many other places. Note: RESIDENTS ENCOUNTER CHRIST (REC), HANDICAPPED ENCOUNTER CHRIST (HEC) and VIDA NUEVA (VN) used TEC as a model for their retreats.
Mid-Hudson Vida Nueva modified the TEC retreat so it would follow the Protestant traditions.
The first Vida Nueva was held in 1976 at the Our Lady of Hope (the Oblate House) in Newburgh, New York.
Since its origin, VN Council (the ruling body of the organization) of the Mid-Hudson Vida Nueva has changed and modified this retreat to meet the needs of the youth.
The early weekends started on Friday evening and ended on Monday afternoon and with the age 17 (Senior in High School) to 23 years old (The same guidelines that TEC used). Presently the weekends start on a Friday night and ends on Sunday evening. The age is 15 through 20 years old.
The VN retreats have been held at many different locations in the Hudson Valley, New York area.
Mid-Hudson VN has helped other communities to set up and run their own Vida Nueva Weekends and has allowed those communities to use the name of Vida Nueva.
Mid-Hudson worked with the Chaplains at the West Point Military Academy. Members from both West Point and Mid-Hudson communities severed together on team during the late ’70’s through the ’80’s to provide for over 20 West Point VN weekends which were held for both Young Men and Women West Point Cadets.
The weekends were held off campus for the Cadets and this was the beginning of the Friday night – Sunday Evening weekend format.
In the mid-1980’s God laid a burden on the hearts of several people in the North Georgia Tres Dias community to start a weekend program for teenagers. From this burden, and with the assistance of the Emmaus, TEC, and Chrysalis communities, under the permission from Mid-Hudson Vida Nueva created North Georgia Vida Nueva.
The first weekends were held in November of 1990 at the Church of God Campground in Doraville (Atlanta) Georgia. Over 1400 young people have attended North Georgia Vida Nueva weekends. From that seed, communities have also formed in Tallahassee, Florida, Dallas, Texas, Dahlonega, Georgia, Macon/Warner Robins, Georgia and Tampa, Florida. Serious interest in forming local communities is also being expressed from middle Tennessee, Birmingham, Alabama, and London, England, and Kiev, Ukraine. There are also active communities in the Pacific Rim, Europe, and Maine. Praise God!