The Confirmation Retreat, the final preparation for our Catechism learners was held from May 27 to May 29, 2016 (3 days 2 nights) at the Church of St. Theresa, Nilai organised by our Catechetical Ministry.
Coming on retreat is often a big step for a confirmation candidate. It is an occasion where they take their faith outside of its normal environment and express it in another forum.
The retreat experience allows the candidates a time and space ‘set apart’ from normal life to be intentionally with God and with each other. Specifically, a confirmation retreat is meant to nurture the personal integration of what is taught in a catechetical programme. It is often through a retreat process – in a space free of distractions – that the young person is able to have a personal encounter with the Lord Jesus and to discover a personal connection to the love of God and His Church. The retreat is thus an opportunity for them to listen, to contemplate what God is calling them to and to respond to God speaking into their heart.
The presenters of the retreat were Brother Marcus Peter and his team.
The catechists who journeyed with them were the class teachers, Richard Ganesh and Priscilla Gregory, assisted by Muriel and Michell.
Some of the topics this retreat focused on were:
- The life of the Trinity and how this also helps lead us into participation in our own communities.
- Their commitment to their parish community and awareness that they are part of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.
- The personal nature of God’s individual love, and God’s desire for relationship with each of us.
- To turn away from sin and be renewed by experiencing God’s love and mercy through the inner healing session.
- An opportunity to reflect on what it means for them to make a personal response to Jesus’ call to discipleship – to follow Him in today’s world.
- That each one of them has been called ‘by name’ and called ‘for a purpose’ ; the individual giftedness that God has given them through the gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit.
- The significance of the sacraments and particularly the sacrament of Confirmation, considering the great gift of being anointed and sealed with the Spirit.
- How the grace of the sacraments can transform and empower them to live as a disciple of Jesus Christ.
Through their testimonies, we witnessed that the retreat has helped our young people to pray and open themselves to the Holy Spirit, for we know ‘it is the Spirit of Truth who “unveils” Christ to us’ (CCC 687).
It is our hope and trust that this retreat will allow the candidates to develop a deeper love for all the sacraments of the Church and be true witnesses of our One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.
Last but not least, one of the best things these young ones accomplished was to lay down and rest their hand phones for 3 days and 2 nights! Something we must applaud them for because they agreed that it was indeed a blessing. Bravo to all of you 2016 Confirmation candidates.
Blessings from our Catechetical Ministry.