Confirmation Retreat

Begin with Prayer – Mental Prayer found Click Here
Video on Happiness – What do you desire?
Watch Chris Stefanik Click Here
Watch Fr. Mike Click Here 

Talking points for parents (to use when doing the discussion):

  • We are all created for happiness. Every single person created is created by Love (God) for love (to give and receive to all – God and others)
  • There are many things that we can say make us happy. Food, sleep, friends, games, etc. But we notice that these things make us happy only for a moment or a period of time and then fade away. I will need to eat again, I will need to sleep again, my friends can come and go, the games I play will end. My quest for happiness is one that is constant.
  • So we must ask ourselves; if this happiness is fleeting or has these moments of rise and fall, is there something or someone that will continually, constantly make me happy? Am I desiring the right things in my quest for happiness?

Discussion - Parent ask child first and then child ask parent:

  1. In what do I put my desire? What is it that makes me happy?
  2. How has this quest for happiness been successful? How has this quest for happiness fallen short?
  3. How do I view faith in my life? Is it just one of many parts of my life, and maybe not a very important part at that, or does my faith pervade every other aspect of my understanding that Jesus is the heart and center of my life and the reason I was created?

Video on How God fulfills our desire? 
Watch Fr. Mike Click Here

Talking points for parents (to use when doing the discussion):

  • Because we are created by the Creator who is Love, it makes sense that that which makes us happiest are the things that are surrounded by love. However, it is true that we say things like, “I love pizza” or “I love my football team”. And like we discussed above, the pizza I love dwindles and fades and I am left wanting more. The football team I love so often disappoints and leaves me sad and unfulfilled. So these things are not proper love.
  • My desire for happiness finds much more success in loving others, for it is these that I love can bring me to a place of happiness that lasts, but I also experience ways in which they love me; ways in which they reciprocate the love that I have shown them. A bridge that connects us is formed here that allows me to realize that it isn’t just me doing the loving (my football team doesn’t love me back, my pizza doesn’t love me back); some one else loves me and this fulfills my desire for happiness in a way nothing has before!
  • However, even here, with the love of some one else, I can experience a deficit in being fulfilled. Relationships get broken, things are said that hurt, actions are done that betray; happiness is taken away. Unfortunately it is true that another human being cannot totally fulfill my desire to be happy. The glimpses that they provided were nice, but this has obvious faded.
  • All is not lost… The glimpse of happiness, those moments of happiness overflowing; these point to the One who is the fulfillment of all desire. Remember that we are created by Love Himself! God creates us in His image and likeness and wants us to experience the Divine Life, which is to say that He wants us to experience our desire to be happy to the full. God fulfills our desire to be happy by us actively seeking relationship with Him (a relationship that He will accept without question) and choosing to invite Him into each moment of our life. Happiness is found in living with God, living for God, and sharing this lived relationship with all that we meet so that they too might meet the One who created them out of love.

Discussion - Parent ask child first and then child ask parent:

  1. Who in your life makes you happy? What qualities do they possess that you like?
  2. What kind of relationship do you have with God? In what ways do you find fulfillment with God? In what ways is your relationship with God not fulfilling?

Spiritual Experience: (choose an option that works for your circumstance)
The goal of these activities is to help your child “encounter” Christ, who is real and whose action and interaction with us is real. However, to facilitate our dialogue with Jesus, we must first use the obvious means at our disposal to listen to him. These would include first, the Scriptures, the Mass, the sacrament of confession, visiting with him in the Blessed Sacrament, prayer such as the Liturgy of the Hours (a.k.a, The Divine Office), Lectio Divina (a method of reading scripitural passages and meditating on them). Other Catholic spiritual reading (lives of the saints or mediations written by them  such as The Confessions of Saint Augustine, The Autobiography of Saint Therese of Liseux, etc.) . Always ask the Holy Spirit to help you hear his voice when you pray or read.
Once we learn how to hear the ways in which God speaks to us, we will hear him speaking through very ordinary things in our lives each day

  • Make a Visit to the Blessed Sacrament at your Parish and Make a Good Confession
  • Pray the Rosary as a Family (20-30 minutes)
  • Do a Liturgy of the Word (Opening prayer through Gospel of Mass you can find guide here)
  • Lectio Divina (a way of reading the Bible instructions found here)
  • Attend a livestreamed Mass

Discuss together between parent and child the following after your time of prayer:

  1. How was prayer for you?
  2. What did you experience?
  3. Did you encounter Jesus in any particular way (did He speak to you or give you vision)?

Final Talk - How do we live a life that seeks God?
W atch Ken Yasinski Click Here
Watch Fr. Mike Click Here

Talking points for parents (to use when doing the discussion):

  • You might be thinking, “Great, the fulfillment of my happiness exists in God who I don’t readily see, I can’t touch, I can’t talk to. How is this supposed to work?”. We have to trust in His presence, which nature assures us through the order of the created world, which Scripture verifies by His words, which countless men and women throughout the ages have lived and died for. God is alive, He is present in His Church through the most blessed Sacrament of the Eucharist, and He is calling your name.
  • We hear this call at Mass when He speaks through the readings and when we hear the priests words over the elements of bread and wine. We Jesus in the Eucharist and experience the same Lord who makes a sinner a saint. When we pray with the faith the size of a mustard seed He hears our cry. When we live a life of love for those that we encounter in our daily lives and serve others so that life might be better for them, we experience Jesus. Sharing our personal stories of graced encounters in life can show us the presence of God in the fruit and gifts that we receive. This sharing allows us to find similarities in how God is connecting with His people.

Discussion - Parent ask child first and then child ask parent:

  1. What can we do together as a family to live a life that seeks God?
  2. Share a time in your life when you felt a grace from God. This could be peace that seemingly came out of nowhere or joy while in the midst of an unjoyful situation.

Close with prayer: Come Holy Spirit

Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth.

(Pause: place your hands on the head of your child and earnestly pray for them, you can do this quietly or out loud.  Ask God to give them the gifts of the Spirit that they may be strong in their faith, good to others, and successful in the eyes of God.  Use your own words to ask God to bless your child in the ways you want them to be blessed.  Remove your hands and continue.)

O, God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever enjoy His consolations, Through Christ Our Lord, Amen.