BOSCO INFORMATION SERVICE # 3482
THE GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT–A RETREAT FOR CONFIRMATION STUDENTS
By: Hilda Alfonsa
NORTHERN ARABIAN VICARIATE, APRIL 10, 2013: On Sunday, 7 April, a special preparatory retreat <![if !vml]><![endif]>was conducted by Fr. Franco Pereira for the Confirmation candidates of the Parish of St. Therese of the Child Jesus in the Northern Arabian Vicariate. It was well attended by one hundred thirty five candidates preparing themselves for the sacrament of Confirmation.
The day began with the song "Turn! Turn! Turn!" by The Byrds the stage for the day followed by a brief welcome and introduction to the program by Fr. Franco. The theme of the Retreat was the importance of prayer. He encouraged the youth to turn to prayer at every moment in their lives, in every season of their lives.
In the first session Fr. Franco explained the true meaning of the "Our Father" prayer through a powerful Power Point presentation. He then illustrated to the children a simplified method of praying which included Praising God for his goodness, <![if !vml]><![endif]>thanking God for the various blessings we have received and lifting our Petitions. Using various life situations, he developed a prayer, showing them how one can pray with simple words. He asked each of them to write down a prayer and then invited them to read their prayer.
In the next session, Fr. Franco stressed the importance of reading the Bible. He encouraged the youth to inculcate a habit of daily bible reading especially through the 5x5 method. He also gave them a brief overview of the various books of the bible. Next he explained how information leads to formation and finally to transformation of oneself. He also explained the 3R's of Revelation, Revolution and Resolution. This session concluded with a fun filled session of Bible Bingo.
After light snacks and fellowship, Fr. Blany Pinto conducted the next session on Gifts of the Holy Spirit. He led the group through a presentation on the gifts of the Holy Spirit. He powerfully illustrated the spiritual significance of these gifts and their significance in our daily lives.
<![if !vml]><![endif]>The participants were then divided into groups, with each group given a gift or a fruit of the Holy Spirit. They were then asked to creatively answer the questions related to the gifts and the fruits of the Holy Spirit. And creative they were indeed!
Fr. Franco concluded the day with a brief summary of the day's learning, encouraging the participants to use their gifts of the Spirit by serving the Lord through the parish community. The song "Light your candle" was then presented motivating them to be the light to others.
After a final blessing, Fr. Blany concluded this beautiful retreat by thanking Fr. Franco, the don Bosco School Management and the catechism teachers and for his invaluable session.