DIVING IN DEEPER IN FAITH
Our Diving in Deeper in Faith challenge retreat invites participants to discover where they are in their Catholic faith and encourages them to be open to Jesus and to live out their Catholic faith in practical ways. The following are descriptions of the essential sessions included in Diving Deeper in Faith, followed by additional optional sessions to enhance your retreat experience.
Welcome / Opening Prayer & Praise / Ice Breakers (15-30 minutes)
Participants are introduced to the retreat experience through prayer and fun as they get to know the SPIRITUS team and each other.
Activity: Retreat attendees participate in an ice breaker activity to feel comfortable with the team and each other.
Methods and Processing: Large group participation
Life on the Beach (60 minutes) (Small Groups)
Challenge: Young people have many facts and rules thrown at them daily. Sometimes it is difficult to know whether they have internalized this knowledge and applied it to their lives, or whether these facts and rules are simply something memorized and spewed out when needed. In this session, participants identify where they are in their faith: on the beach, wading, swimming or diving in deep waters.
Activity: Participants identify what makes them Catholic by sharing in small group.
Methods and Processing: Teaching, witness talk and small group sharing
Challenges to Going In (45 minutes) (Barrier Demo)
Challenge: Over time, many young people find themselves in struggles and situations that cause them to question their faith or even God's existence. This session helps young people to look at the barriers and walls that keep them from feeling close to God and internalizing their faith.
Activity: Students participate with SPIRITUS team members in a Barriers Demonstration that helps reveal where God is in the midst of their struggles.
Methods and Processing: Barriers Demonstration, witness talk and small group sharing
Called into the Water (60 minutes) (1:1 Prayer)
Challenge: Young people often have trouble trusting in God and letting Him take control of their lives. In this session, participants are taught that prayer is a powerful way to do so and are encouraged to surrender their struggles to Jesus through prayer and to build a deeper friendship with Him.
Activity: Retreat attendees particpate in one-on-one prayer with a SPIRITUS team member.
Methods and Processing: Witness talk, guided meditation, one-on-one prayer experience
Diving Deeper in Faith (60 minutes) (Reflection Pages)
Challenge: Many young people have difficulty showing their faith
Activity: Participants write a letter to themselves highlighting a plan for how they will continue to grow in faith as they live out their Confirmation. (These letters are given to the adult leader who sends them to the participants sometime after their Confirmation.)
Methods and Processing: Large group discussion, witness talk, small group sharing and personal reflection. Letters of affirmation from sponsors and family can be included in this session if desired.
Retreat Closing Prayer and Praise (15 min)
Participants reflect on the retreat and the presence of God’s loving guidance in their lives through prayer and praise.
Activity: SPIRITUS team leads group in prayer and praise.
Methods and Processing: Large group participation
Questing for the Grail (75 minutes) (Mass Challenge)
Challenge: Young Catholics often take one of the most important aspects of our Catholic faith for granted – the presence of Jesus in the Eucharist and our receiving Him at Mass. This session gives them a new, exciting way of thinking about the liturgy and helps them to get excited about going to Mass.
Activity: Retreat attendees take part in the Mass Challenge. After watching a video clip from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, they participate with their team in an activity that helps them see how the specific parts of the Mass help them reach the grail and eternal life with Christ.
Methods and Processing: Teaching, movie clip, Mass Challenge activity, witness talk, personal reflection and small group discussion
Seeking and Giving Forgiveness (60-120 minutes) (Reconciliation Prep)
Challenge: Young people are suffering many hurts which can become obstacles to growing in their relationship with God. This session helps participants recognize the consequences of holding on to hurts in their lives and the benefits of forgiving others and being forgiven. This session is given before either the Sacrament of Reconciliation or the Hurt Circle experience. It varies in length depending on which follow up experience is chosen and if offering Reconciliation, how many priests are available.
Activity: Sacrament of Reconciliation or the Hurt Circle, depending upon the groups’ choice. The Hurt Circle is an option for groups who choose not to or are unable to include a formal Reconciliation service as part of their retreat experience. If doing the Hurt Circle, participants experience a quiet ceremony in which they are able to symbolically hand over past hurts, pains or concerns to God.
Methods and Processing: Large group discussion, witness talk, “Holding on to Hurts” demonstration and small group sharing, followed by Sacrament of Reconciliation or “Hurt Circle” Activity