5th Annual Color Our City – Gary, Indiana

Gary, Indiana, one of the poorest cities in the US, hosted 100 teenagers from 6 states who organized activities with the homeless, to serve at a soup kitchen/canteen and work on urban renewal. For many of them it was an unforgettable experience, which opened their eyes not only to the needs but also the beauty of the town, which is, before all else, a community.

Gary was the site of the 5th annual Let’s Color Our City in the Midwest, and although it was the 5th year that we were hosting this service retreat, this was the very first time that we were doing it in close collaboration with the youth ministry’s office of the diocese.

Kevin Driscoll, Director of Youth, Diocese of Gary, Indiana said “It was a great opportunity for our Youth ministry programs to join them, so we were a collaborative partner in it. So it was about half teens4unity teens from all over the Midwest and even Georgia, as well as about half our Youth Ministry Programs from 7 different parishes all meeting together. The turnout was great; the work was great but really the human component was really what was transformative.”


The inspiration for the annual youth gathering & service retreat in cities throughout the Midwest this summer came from the words of Focolare founder, Chiara Lubich (1920-2008), whose process for beatification recently opened up in January 2015.

“Who would not want to see their own city, without the “gray” of solitude and indifference,
but instead colored by love, which brings people together and builds up brotherhood?” (Chiara)