Eighth-graders throughout the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend are preparing to meet with Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades at the Sealed by the Spirit diocesan confirmation retreat on Sept. 15 at Bishop Dwenger High School, Fort Wayne.
The event is for young people who are preparing to receive the sacrament of confirmation in the coming months. The retreat runs from 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m., and highlight of the day will be Mass with Bishop Rhoades at 9:30 a.m.
The day’s events will include visits from diocesan priests, religious and adult leaders to help the young people on their faith journey. Music, games and activities will be sprinkled throughout the retreat day as students learn about the sacrament of confirmation and have an opportunity to pray and go to confession.
Candidates can register through their parish or school. If they belong to a parish that will not be attending a group, they are welcome to attend with a parent who has completed safe-environment training and who has been placed on the diocesan chaperone list for the event. Aug. 31 is the last day of registration, and the cost of $20 will cover lunch and a T-shirt.
Father Royce Gregerson is the pastor of St. John the Evangelist Parish in Goshen. He will give a talk to the youth in the morning before attendees begin a period of eucharistic adoration.
Mary Jo Parrish, a faith-filled mother of 10 children from St. Vincent de Paul Parish in Fort Wayne, will give a teaching on the gifts of the Holy Spirit. According to Parrish, the students are being prepared to go out on mission after confirmation.
“My teaching focuses on the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit that strengthen and prepare us for our mission,” she said. “I also incorporate seven saints who emulated those gifts in their lives. My hope is that our students can see these saints who are just regular people who, in the midst of their difficulties, rose in holiness and radiated Christ’s light to the world.
“We are each called to be that light. We are each called to be saints.”
Father Jay Horning is co-chaplain at Bishop Dwenger High School and one of the diocese’s five newly ordained priests of our diocese. He will speak to the soon-to-be-confirmed about the sacrament of confirmation itself, and how it shapes one’s identity.
James Pratt, the Catholic campus minister at Culver Academies in Culver, will direct a youth choir during Mass and lead praise and worship throughout the day.
Students do not need to bring anything to the retreat, other than a willingness to let their lives be transformed by Christ. The diocesan confirmation retreat offers the candidates a chance to encounter Christ through the contagious joy of the Gospel and the power of the sacraments, as well as showing the engaging witness of Bishop Rhoades and the priests and laity of the diocese.
For more information or to register, visit www.fwsbym.com/confirmation-retreat.
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