As Clarisa said, we’ve had our hands full this week with two Confirmation retreats. Although we’ve been doing these retreats for schools from all over the diocese for the last month or so, these two were special for us since they were for the schools in our own parish. We’ve been working with these kids for months through the “You Shall Be My Witnesses” program(me), and it was great to be with them as they had this near-to-last step in their preparation for Confirmation.
This is the first time for all of these kids that they’ve been on anything like a retreat, but their experience in small groups during “You Shall Be My Witnesses” proved to be very helpful in making them more comfortable with the idea of sharing in groups. These retreats focus on the idea of giftedness, and we try to help the kids see that in addition to the gifts of the Holy Spirit received at Confirmation, they are called to use the gifts they already have to help make the world a better place. Through a couple of film clips, brief talks by Patrick and Carolyn, and small group activities, the kids learn that they have a purpose, and that their gifts are hints at what that purpose might be. We’ve really loved this time with kids from all over the diocese, especially since it serves as another chance to get out to the beautiful retreat centre at Ballyvaloo!