A different kind of youth group

Many people don’t know that St. Ambrose University owns another property off campus, St. Vincent’s Center, purchased in 2009. In the gymnasium where some of the sports teams practice, there is a youth group that meets every Sunday and Wednesday night.

Spirit Incorporated was founded in 1970 by Tom Downs who used to be the religious education coordinator for the Diocese of Davenport. Paul Roe, Diane Roe and Tim Heinrichs are the current leaders of Spirit Inc. and all used to be members when they were younger.

They have discussions of God like most youth groups, but the members also sing, dance and some play guitar. They perform some religious songs as well as popular songs from the radio that have a positive message like “Shine” by Collective Soul and “I Can See Clearly Now” by Johnny Nash.

“Some of the current members are looking to bring in a few new songs right now,” Diane said. “We are excited to get more recent music to relate to more people.”

The group, which currently has 38 members from all around the Quad-Cities, performs at several concerts throughout the year, including the Bix Beiderbecke Festival, the Festival of Trees and various church events in the area. They also go caroling around town during the holiday season.

During the summer they like to to do day trips to the 61 Drive-In Theatre, Maquoketa Caves and Scott County Park. Sometimes the staff will surprise members by taking them on impromptu trips to the park to play volleyball or softball. They also have one weekend trip in the summer to either the Wisconsin Dells of St. Louis, Mo.

“I’m pretty excited about the next few weeks,” Paul said. “Since Lent is coming up we’ll be having our own version of the last supper, the washing of the feet and we will have  a priest come in to do the Ash Wednesday ritual.”

Though the youth group is incorporated under the Diocese of Davenport, they accept members of all faiths, ages ranging from 14 to 20. For any questions or if you are interested in joining, Spirit Inc. is located at 780 W. Central Park in Davenport. You can also contact Paul Roe at (563)323-5499.



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