I have come to fall in love with teaching in Catholic schools. What are YOU in love with?...

"Nothing is more practical than finding God, that is, than falling in love in a quite absolute, final way. What you are in love with, what seizes your imagination, will affect everything. It will decide what will get you out of bed in the morning, what you will do with your evenings, how you will spend your weekends, what you read, who you know, what breaks your heart, and what amazes you with joy and gratitude. Fall in love, stay in love, and it will decide everything." - Pedro Arrupe

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Final Prep Before the Holy Spirit Does Its Thing

Yep, you read that right - today was the 8th graders' Confirmation retreat. (It was nice to have an excuse to be inside for most of the day, quite frankly, as it was overcast and misty - bleh.) With the help of some amazing (yes, truly incredible!) friends (& awesome sister) and colleagues, we were able to pull together some great resources and execute a reflective, thoughtful retreat.

We began the day with Mass, where I happened to be seated in front of my students and next to a woman with a small child (maybe 18 months old?). At one point, I turned around in my pew because my students were whispering. When I turned back around, the woman asked, "Are they yours?" I explained to her that they were having their Confirmation retreat today, to which she responded, "Oh, I was wondering how early you got started." (Ha ha.) It got me thinking, though, that they technically are mine because I've prepared them for this special Sacrament over the past two years. They are mine because their parents entrust them to my care every day. Maybe I should have answered yes. (I would have loved to see that reaction!)

After Mass, we took a quick tour of the Shrine, where we were holding the retreat. The students learned a bit about Mother Cabrini, and they even got to go up on the altar and into the mini museum.

Post-tour, I gave an overview of the structure of the retreat (based on the three main things at Confirmation: Renewal of Baptismal Promises, Laying on of Hands, and Anointing with Chrism). I also introduced the team, and then we were off and running. (We had a break for lunch in the middle too.) We did activities involving movement, art, and prayer. I think the mixture of activities kept the students on their toes...

Though the students were chatty at times, most were highly engaged and thoughtful during their small group sessions, drawing connections between the activities and their faith journeys. Our pastor showed up towards the end, and he led us in a closing prayer before taking a group photo and sending the students on their separate ways.

What a blessing these young people are! Please hold them in your prayers as they enter into this final month before receiving the Sacrament.

1 comment:

  1. They were great! You and Mary Beth did an amazing job with them. I only wish I had been there for the whole thing!