FORT WAYNE — Eighth-grade youths to be confirmed during the 2021-22 school year are invited to join their counterparts in the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend for either of two single-day confirmation retreats that will take place on each side of the diocese. Both engaging and enriching retreats are open to groups from parishes and schools, those who are unable to facilitate their own retreat and anyone who wants to supplement their parish retreat with a dynamic, large-scale opportunity.
Confirmation is the sacrament of strengthening the faith given in baptism and of welcoming a person into full-fledged practice of the faith. Young people who are well-prepared to engage in an active prayer life and in service to others will be Christ’s light and His love for the next generation. Therefore, the diocese encourages all Catholic young people to reflect, during events such as retreats, on the holy responsibility on which they are about to embark and the gifts they will soon receive from the Holy Spirit.
The first retreat will take place Oct. 9 at Marian High School in Mishawaka and the other March 12 at Bishop Dwenger High School in Fort Wayne. According to John Pratt, director of the Office of Youth Ministry, the dual locations are an attempt to alleviate the difficulty of transportation and travel distance from some parishes to the confirmation retreat.
Members of the Damascus Missionary Team, a national organization of faith-filled young adults dedicated to reviving the Church, will help to lead both retreats in conjunction with the Office of Youth Ministry.
Both retreats will begin with registration on site at 8 a.m., with the first session kicking off at 8:45 a.m. Various talks will be interspersed with reflection songs, small group discussions and lunch or snacks. A time of adoration in the afternoon will precede the final small-group discussion and closing remarks, and everyone will be dismissed by 3:15 p.m.
Students will be chaperoned by school and parish catechetical leaders and other individuals who have passed a background check and completed Safe Environment training. The chaperones will lead the small-group discussions. Cell phone use will be prohibited during retreat hours.
Cost to attend either retreat is $20, which includes lunch and snacks. Registration is requested by visiting diocesefwsb.org/virtual-confirmation-retreat/.
As an additional resource for a student who is sick or otherwise unable to attend an in-person retreat, a virtual diocesan confirmation Retreat that was published in 2020 is still available on the website.
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