We had 50 students participating in this year’s Confirmation retreat with 11 helpers (both High School youth and adults). With a wooden cross at the very center of the room, each hour we seemed to get closer and closer to the heart of the matter. This sacrament is not just about something to be checked off a list. Nor is it just a fun Sunday to meet the Bishop. It’s about being open to encounter the Lord in a powerful way through the outpouring of His Holy Spirit. Yet, how do you teach them to be open to something they may never have fully experienced?
More than half the students confessed that they did NOT want to come on the retreat when they had rolled out of bed that morning. But slowly throughout the day, as our team gave their presentations, small groups talked, and the climax of the night being prayer ministry and adoration, a change started to happen. Teen’s arms became uncrossed, walls were broken down, and hearts were softened as the Holy Spirit’s presence moved. One hundred percent of the students said they would recommend this retreat for next year’s Confirmation students. The comments from the teens showcase just how powerful retreat was:
The thing I liked most? When I encountered Jesus!
I really did experience the presence of God.
This was an amazing experience that I will never forget.
God has always been there, I just learned how to embrace him.
When people were praying for me, I could hear Jesus talking to me in a way I’ve never felt before.
Please keep these students in your prayers as we journey closer to their Confirmation!