On Saturday, January 7, 2017, at 8:00 a.m., I gathered with a group of confirmandi for an all-day retreat at St. James Cathedral in Orlando. It was a mixed group of mostly 8th grade students and some 7th graders.
The retreat was held in the Social Hall at the Cathedral and was led by Nancy Webb and Renee Jones. Peer ministers who are a part of our youth group, Saints on a Road (SOAR), joined us along with Father Martin Nguyen, and Father Jonathan Stevens from the Diocese of St. Petersburg.
An interesting speaker, Amanda Livermore, came and shared her story with us and organized the music for Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. Although Adoration lasted almost two hours, I felt it was much shorter because I found it wonderful praying to God in silence.
Confession was offered and followed by an afternoon of getting artistic. Each confirmandi was given different colored pieces of tissue paper and asked different questions. We were given a specific color to tear off when answering “yes” to any of the questions. The tissue was used to make a colorful version of the Cathedral.
Then we created a canvas, choosing a word from a slide presentation we were shown. As we added the word, we could add any art that we liked.
Dinner followed a beautiful Mass with Father Nguyen and Father Stevens. Father Stevens talked about the Gospel and making resolutions.
The retreat was definitely an enlightening experience. It helped me learn that you don’t have to pray to God in a formal way, giving me more understanding of my faith. Confirmation will be on January 14th.
Article written by Schebania J., a 8th grader at St. James Catholic School, Orlando