Thursday, June 18, 2020

Gifts of the Holy Spirit- At Home Retreat


I know many students this Spring had their Confirmation delayed, but some dioceses are already working on rescheduling Sacraments for this fall! If you are like me, we lost some of our preparation time in the classroom and will likely be unable to spend any time together before the actual Confirmation. I wanted to send something easy but meaningful to the families to help them pray and prepare as the date approaches, especially helping the Confirmands open up their hearts to the Gifts of the Holy Spirit that will be received in the Sacrament.

This family retreat is organized around the seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit and shares a set of links to prayers, music, a Bible verse, Lectio Divina journal, videos, and suggested activities for each Gift. I created it with students just before their Confirmation in mind, but it also would be great for students who have been recently Confirmed to get them thinking about allowing the Gifts to be put to use in their lives. Really the activities would work well for any junior high or high school student- which is nice because a lot of resources for Catholic kids I've seen (and created myself!) for the summer are aimed at younger kids. This could almost function like an at home VBS for older kids! ;) All of these ideas are also perfect for a study of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit in the classroom when we are back together.

My wording in the retreat schedule is specific to kids who are preparing for their upcoming Confirmation, but I'm also including an editable version so you can add your own dates, specific links or ideas, or change some of the content to be more generalized.

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An important part of the retreat is spending time each week in Scripture reflecting on the seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit. I made this simple Lectio Divina journal to act as an aide to that prayer. If your students or child isn't familiar with Lectio Divina, I'd recommend also these Lectio Divina printables to help.

The journal is intended to be printed (two sided if possible, but not necessary) and then folded in half with this as the cover. Click here or on the image to open the pdf journal:

There is a page and a Scripture passage for each of the seven Gifts with room to journal using the four steps of Lectio Divina. Hopefully this is something that could be discussed and prayed over with a parent or Confirmation sponsor, or even as a whole family Bible Study.

The retreat is designed to give a few easy to implement ideas surrounding the Gifts of the Holy Spirit each week, helping open the heart of the Confirmand to be ready to receive His Gifts. All the links are free and easily accessible. The include a prayer (usually offered as both the text and a song or video), the Scripture to pray with that is also listed in the Lectio Divina journal, two videos about that Gift of the Holy Spirit (as well as a whole playlist of Confirmation videos), and a couple of activity suggestions that range from conversations with Sponsors, to researching their Confirmation Saints, to readings that deepen their understanding of the effects of the Sacrament of Confirmation.

 Click here for a pdf version of the retreat:
Click here to open up an editable version of the retreat so you can change wording, add links, list specific dates, etc. When you open this version in Google Slides, you will either need to make a copy and then edit your own version in Google Slides or download and edit in PowerPoint. Either way, I then recommend saving as a pdf before sending out to students and families- it usually helps with access and formatting issues.
May the Gifts of the Holy Spirit manifest themselves in our work and in the lives of our students and families. Come, Holy Spirit, Come!

11 comments:

  1. Hi, Katie.
    I click on your link and on the picture for the Lectio Divina Journal and a prayer by St. Augustine shows up instead. - Laura G.

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    1. Sorry about that, Laura. Should be fixed! Thanks for letting me know :)

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  2. I would love to print this out; my daughter is being Confirmed in July. However, the links all seem to lead to St. Augustine's prayer.

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    1. Hi Karyn! I'm so sorry about that. A few of the links were incorrect, but I updated the post a couple of hours ago. Can you try again and let me know if they work for you? You also can email me at looktohimandberadiant (at) gmail.com

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    2. And yay for your daughter! The timing is perfect for this. Know of my prayers for her. :)

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  3. Thank you for sharing these resources, you have put so much time into them. They are great and very comprehensive.

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    1. You are super welcome! I'm making this for my own students, so figured I should share in case it was timely for others!

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  4. We just set our Confirmation dates for September and I was hoping to have time to develop something like this for them to do beforehand- thank you so much for sharing! I use your materials often and am so grateful to God for your generosity, creativity and faithfulness to the Church.

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    1. Yay! Hopefully this is a starting point and you can edit as needed for your students! :)

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  5. Adding my thanks to the others ... our stay-at-home order was issued just 10 days before the scheduled date of our Confirmation Mass. This will be a great help for our candidates and families in preparation for their Confirmation in the fall (God willing).

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    1. You are super welcome. The timing of our Confirmation was also about a week after the stay at home orders, and is now rescheduled for August. I'll go six months without seeing my students in the classroom in between, and just wanted to give them something that might help prepare their hearts. I'm glad it will help you too!

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