This retreat equips young people with the understanding of the importance to have firm foundation in their faith. After year 11, the young people go out into the world, whether that is continuing in sixth form or going off to college, they start to truly experience the real world as almost independent young adults. This is why it is necessary to build a firm foundation so that they are equipped to face any storms that will come their way in life.
The world we live in is more and more governed by opinions than facts and it can be hard to share what you believe and know to be true. Yet having that firm faith foundation, young people can be confident that what we believe as Catholics is true and can use that confidence as they prepare to go out into the wider world.
We look at the story of the wise and foolish builders in the gospel of Matthew. We clearly see what happens to the man who builds on sand and his possessions come falling down as soon as it is battered by a storm. However, the man who has built his house, his life, on a stable foundation is not destroyed by the storm.
As one of our Year 11 teachers once shared,“I can’t express how much our students enjoyed the weekend at SPEC in November. On return to school the group have been frequent visitors to the chapel. Also they are nagging me to book a year 12 retreat for them! Thank you again to you and your team for an uplifting, rewarding and spiritual weekend.”
In one of the many activities on this retreat, the young people are challenged to build a structure out of newspaper before they are given a foundation on which to test the sturdiness of their structure. This activity is a practical and creative way in which we bring to life the story of the wise and foolish builders.
The year 11 pupils also partake in a reflective activity in which they create a timeline of their lives so far, identifying the areas in the lives where something has strengthened their faith, such as their first holy communion or their confirmation. This range of activities offers each student the ability to strengthen their faith in a variety of ways, whether it is creative or more reflective.
As with every retreat, we also have time for adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and finish with a celebration of mass as the final part of our retreat.
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