Communions & Confirmations

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Make the most of Confirmation retreats

Confirmands take several steps in preparation for the Sacrament of Confirmation. They will likely participate in Penance so they can receive the sacrament free from sin. They almost must select a confirmation sponsor and choose a saint's name to adopt upon being confirmed. Confirmation preparations also may include going on a spiritual retreat.

Retreats take individuals preparing for the sacraments away from their daily routines so their hearts and minds can be open and ready to receive Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. Many retreats are designed to teach confirmands about their faith in a fun and cooperative setting. Some retreats take place over several hours in one day, while others may last an entire weekend.

Participants may take different things away from religious retreats. Some may find it provides a much-needed break from the hustle of daily life, while others find it provides them with a deeper connection to their spirituality. Here are a few ways confirmands can make the most of their retreat experiences.

• Embrace the beautiful surroundings. Many retreats take place in rural settings where a person can truly appreciate nature and the peace and tranquility it provides. Get outside and enjoy the boost a beautiful day can provide. Take full advantage of any nature walks or focused group prayer outdoors to more deeply connect with your faith.

• Full participate in the various events. To gain the full experience from the retreat, get involved with what the program has to offer. This may include musical performances, role-playing, movies, hikes, and group crafts. You're more inclined to have a good time if you get involved.

• Spend time in spiritual adoration. Take some time during the retreat to reflect on God and what taking the next sacramental step means to you and your faith. It's during these quiet times that you may hear the message of God and can examine your conscience.

• Make new friends. Young adults come together at religious retreats. Some may be familiar faces and others may be from other neighborhoods and churches. Use the retreat as an opportunity to make new and lasting friendships.

• Expect the unexpected. Going into a retreat with preconceived notions can affect how much you enjoy your time there. Keep your mind open to new experiences and you never know what you may gain from the experience. You very well may find spiritual retreats are something you want to periodically incorporate into your life to renew your relationship with God.

Confirmation retreats are a great way to prepare for receiving this important sacrament. Not only can retreats be informative and spiritual, but they also can be a lot of fun.

Maryland Pennysaver