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Holy Owned and Operated’s premier Middle School Catholic Youth wildlife adventure! It is a retreat and camping experience that your 11-13 year old will remember for a lifetime!

Join us in the Davis Mountains Texas State Park for a week of prayer, worship, hiking, discovering, exploring, and delving into the questions of faith and reason and how they can be compatible. Based squarely on Catholic Church teaching, we help Middle Schoolers understand the truth that belies what they hear from society today: both faith AND reason are necessary for a full life—God made it so.




Summer 2022

Start planning now for an amazing adventure next summer!

West Texas
Mountains, Desert, Old West Forts and Watering Holes

About the Tour

FAR OUT IV: Faith and Reason Outdoor Unity Tour

What’s the big deal about the Big Bang? Do you believe in UFOs? Life on other planets? Evolution? Global warming? Fossil fuel use? How does all this relate to being Catholic? Aren’t they separate? You know separation of Church and State, and all that stuff?

Here’s what the YouCat says:

Is there a contradiction between faith and science?
There is no insoluble contradiction between faith and science, because there cannot be two kinds of truth. There is not one truth of faith that is in competition with another truth of science. There is only one truth, to which both faith and scientific reason refer. God intended reason, with which we can recognize the rational structures of the world, just as he intended faith. That is why the Christian faith demands and promotes the (natural) sciences. Faith exists so that we might know things that are not apparent to reason yet are real above and beyond reason. Faith reminds science that it is supposed to serve creation and not set itself up in place of God. Science must respect human dignity instead of violating it. (YOUCAT question 23)

Come on this retreat and we will delve into this to allow you to know how they are all connected and why the Catholic Church says that faith and reason are not only compatible, but necessary for each other!

All current 6-8 graders are welcome to apply.

Check out below to see what’s on the tour!



Tent Camp in Davis Mountains State Park

Experience Mass at Sunrise like this and wonder at the universe

Based in the Davis Mountains for six days, you can’t help but experience God and the universe and want to know how it all works together. Each day is filled with excursions exploring our Faith and Man’s place in the world, culminating in a new appreciation for how Faith and Reason work together to reveal the awesome splendor of God!

Swim at the Natural Spring at Balmorhea

Settlers, adventurers, outlaws and Catholic missionaries stopped at this natural spring in the high desert hundreds of years ago. Don’t just imagine what it was like to come across an oasis in the wilderness – feel it and enjoy the cool water on a hot summer day and a picnic while learning how God provides for us just as He did the Israelites in the desert.

Water is essential to life, and this backdrop gives us great opportunity to discus how important and precious life is, and how reason grants us the facuties to know that, not just feel it.

Marfa Mystery Lights

Everyone agrees it’s a mystery to be reckoned with. While the source of the mystery lights is still a point of contention, by most reports, they are whimsical and friendly; other witnesses maintain that they are ever distant and aloof; and some sources claim they zoom across the plains at terrifying speed, only to whip back around and dissolve before hitting the dumbstruck viewer. The cynics will tell you that this is just the atmospheric reflections of cars and campfires at night. The mystics will tell you that’s hooey.The truth is, we just don’t know.

But we do know God gives us mysteries to help us know Him, and after a night looking for these phenomena this discussion and questions about life and the world around us explode into conversations lasting a lifetime. What are these mysterious lights? Why are they here?

There’s only one way to find out for yourself.


Star Party at McDonald Observatory!

The McDonald Observatory is our destination for a night of stargazing and planet watching through many telescopes setup across the mountaintop. Each telescope has an astronomer who answers questions and points out things you’ve never seen with the naked eye. It’s a night of seeing the depths of the universe and wondering at it while recognizing how important you must be if God made all of this and loves you intimately!

From this vantage point of how small we are yet how unique we are and made for this specific time and place, we explore how God has a specific purpose for us in the here and now, and how do we discern that vocation with faith and reason from God’s nudging with all of the sources of information He is providing in the world around us.

Fort Davis National Historic Site

Set in the rugged beauty of the Davis Mountains of west Texas, Fort Davis is one of America’s best surviving examples of an Indian Wars frontier military post in the Southwest. From 1854 to 1891, Fort Davis was strategically located to protect emigrants, mail coaches, and freight wagons on the Trans-Pecos portion of the San Antonio-El Paso Road and the Chihuahua Trail, and to control activities on the southern stem of the Great Comanche War Trail and Mescalero Apache war trails.

Fort Davis is important in understanding the presence of African Americans in the West and in the frontier military because the 24th and 25th U.S. Infantry and the 9th and 10th U.S. Cavalry, all-black regiments established after the Civil War, were stationed at the post.

From the science of Newton in weaponry and warfare to the just war principles of our Catholic faith, Fort Davis gives us opportunities for discussions of physics and morality and how cultures interacting can create great discoveries and terrible conflicts.

Pre-Registration Information

We are excited to offer this opportunity for the youth in your life! We want to know more about you and you get to know us so we can all be confident that this retreat is the right fit for your youth. Once we receive this information, Beth or Kristofer will contact you directly, sending you a packet of youth registration forms and the usual waivers and permission slips, as well as adult information for chaperones and a timeline for registration deadlines. Please answer everything as best you can, and we’ll get it ironed out when we touch base personally.

Chaperone Requirements:

  • Chaperones must be either a parent or legal guardian of an attending youth, or the parish representative (i.e. pastor, youth minister, assigned volunteer/staff member).
  • Chaperones must be 21 years of age or older and hold a valid Driver License.
  • Chaperones must be registered and compliant with their Diocesan Safe Environment policies and provide proof of compliance.
  • Chaperones must be willing and able to participate in the activities planned for the retreat including hiking, walking, tent camping, cooking, cleaning, etc.
  • Chaperones may need to share a tent with another adult chaperone of the same sex who may not be known to you ahead of time.

“*” Indicates a required response
The last three are required if you do not plan to be a chaperone. Forms will not be processed without a potential chaperone’s contact info.