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16 November, 2010

Confirmation Retreats

Part of my job includes faith formation for the tenth grade students at our parish.  In tenth grade, they are eligable for the Sacrament of Confirmation... Thus I spend about 12 weeks in classes and on retreats with them.  This year we had a smaller class of only 156 candidates.  For two weekends in the Fall I am gone on retreat with them.  One half one weekend and the other have the second weekend.  Yikes!  I orchestrate about 30 volunteers and guest speakers, musicians, priests, deacons, etc to make this happen.  It is one of the biggest challenges I face each year, yet the most rewarding two weekends of the year.

Chapel at Covecrest
 This year because our two groups were smaller, we actually fit in the chapel for Mass.  There is something so sacred about this tiny place of worship.

Working on their pumpkins
 The last few years, the retreats have landed over Halloween - so for a team building activity, the kids have a pumpkin carving contest as a small group team building activity.

Getting ready for Confession
 One of the greatest components of the retreat is for the teens to go to Reconciliation.  Many of them haven't gone in 7 years!

Free time!
 The kids were hanging out at one of the cabins, just praying, talking, reading, playing games! Love it!

Skit practice
 During our "Road to Emmaus" Confirmation retreat, the teen leaders do a skit about sin and how it separates us from God.  This is a little of their practice.

 The skit finishes with the girl surrendering all her sins by giving them to Jesus.

Praying over the guest speakers

Eucharistic Adoration!
Saturday night the teens have an opportunity to pray in front of the Blessed Sacrament.  Most of them haven't taken a quiet hour EVER in their life, nor ever spent time in Adoration.  It's always a moving experience and is a turning point for many of them to clear their minds and just *be* with Jesus.

These are hands down two of our favorite weekends of the year.  Like I said, a lot of work, but extremely rewarding!  The best part is on Monday when I open my email and read "When can we do it again?"

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