The St. Odilia Confirmation program for 2017 - 2018 will begin in September. We will be using the Chosen study program from Ascension Press as the foundation of our curriculum.
Classes will combine both large-group presentations, small-group discussions, and occasional guest speakers. We will also be hosting a Confirmation retreat as well as two service projects during the course of the program. It is our sincere hope that students will deepen their relationship with God and come to a greater knowledge and love of Him through the teachings of His Church, service to our brothers and sisters in need, and reception of the Sacraments with which He has gifted us.
Chosen is designed to prepare students both intellectually and spiritually to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation and to become lifelong disciples of Christ. All too often we see teens drift away from the Church after Confirmation. Chosen seeks to reverse this trend by winning over the hearts of teens at a critical time in their lives and keeping them firmly planted within the faith community of the Church.
Chosen's carefully designed methodology features highly effective and engaging material conveyed through videos, student workbooks, and classroom experience.
December 3 * January 7 * February 18 * March 4 * April 15 * May 6
(For Candidates not currently attending St. Odilia School)
September 27 * October 11, 25 * November 8, 15, 29 * December 13
January 17, 31 * February 21, 28 * March 21, 28 * April 4, 11
February 7 * March 7 * April 18 * May 2
Parent / Child Retreat Days
Option #1: August 26 (Sat. 1:00-5:00 PM)
Option #2: Sept. 23 (Sat. 12:30-5:00 PM)
Weekend Confirmation Retreats
Option #1: November 10 – 12 (Fri. evening - Sun. afternoon)
Option #2: February 23 – 25 (Fri. evening - Sun. afternoon)
Parish Rite of Sending
Sunday, May 6 at the 6:00 PM Mass
Held at the Cathedral of St. Paul
Monday, May 21 at 7:00 PM
This coming school year (2017-2018) we are making a change to the parent part of the Confirmation program. Rather than have a short parent meeting on the first night of classes, we are adding an afternoon retreat (about 4 hours) with parents and children at the beginning of the program year. Parents will have two dates to choose from (August 26 and September 23), whichever date you pick, one (or both) parents will attend with their teen.
These Parent/Child Retreats will introduce the Confirmation year and detail the components that students will be doing. The students will also get introduced to our high school Retreat Team leaders, as they will run some of the student-only pieces while our Adult Retreat Team spends time with just the parents.
We’ll also have some of the traditional elements of a retreat, starting with talks by some of our adult leaders/parents. It’s our experience that most parents of Confirmation students have pretty similar goals for their kids – they want them to be good people, find meaning in their faith, and feel supported by their church. We want to work with parents to achieve those goals, to support parents in what they do with their teens, and that collaboration and support starts with these retreats!
The Parent/Child Retreats also include prayer, some activities with your child, skits, and time in discussion groups. We ran these at my previous parish, and the feedback there was fantastic – so we look forward to a great new component for the St. Odilia program!
And we’re happy to add that it won’t change the cost of the program – when you register your student for their traditional weekend retreat this summer, you’ll also choose which of the two Parent/Child Retreats you and your teen will attend.
Later in the program year (Nov. or Feb.) each of our Confirmation students will attend a weekend Confirmation Retreat. These have been the most popular part of our program for a few years now, thanks in large part to our “Retreat Team” – a group of 8 adult leaders and around 20 high schoolers who help run our retreats each year. The emphasis we place on the teen leaders is one of the more unique aspects of our retreats, but the benefits are huge, as the retreats are far more relatable, they focus on real-world applications of faith, and it gives our students a lot of great role models to look up to as they grow closer to God!
Our adult leaders and youth ministry staff train these leaders and develop them as a team, so they are capable of running a host of other youth ministry events besides just retreats. We want parents to know that their kids are in good hands on these retreats – we have a lot of leaders and a lot of experience among them, and we’ve honed these weekends to run smoothly, despite our very full schedule.
That schedule includes, by the way – ten testimonies or faith talks, ten small group sessions, eight skits and dramas, two big team-building competitions, a dozen icebreakers and games, three main prayer services (one per day), mass, adoration, reconciliation, six meals plus snack times, and countless unscripted moments where our leaders and participants connect with each other, start building relationships, and help each other grow as disciples.
That growth as a disciple is a main focus of the retreats – being Confirmed means affirming your decision to be a disciple (among other things) and we want to help students engage in that process. We also focus on the Gifts of the Holy Spirit that we receive in the Sacrament of Confirmation – our schedule is built around the seven gifts and making them relatable. We want students to experience an authentic Christian community on these retreats – supporting each other, praying for each other, laughing with each other, and growing together. And our feedback each year is that it’s working – part of why we had over twenty students this past year alone interested in joining the Retreat Team that puts these on!
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