St Clare's parish youth retreat 5th - 7th July 2013, St Clare's parish was joined by the Holy youth group from Cottam along with some people from St Gregory and Corpus Christi High school. In effect the first signs of a deanery youth retreat.
The theme chosen for the weekend was "more than this" and we followed the story of Zaccahaeus, who after an encounter with Jesus realised that there was much more to life than the money and power that he had accrued for himself, deciding instead to turn his life around and become a member of God's family.
The theme was explored through lots of fun activities coupled with prayer and a great celebration of Mass to end the retreat. The young people in the retreat where wonderful and entered into the retreat with great enthusiasm and respect. The weekend was lead by Ruth & Joe White from the Metanoia project who worked really hard to ensure the weekend was a great success.
On Friday evening 23 young people left the parish for a weekend retreat at Castlerigg Manor the Diocesan Youth Centre. On arriving at Castlerigg the young people embarked on a tightly packed weekend of fun and faith.
The first part of Friday evening was time for them to find their rooms and become familiar with their surroundings. The first session was used to introduce the theme of the weekend "more than this" based on the Gospel passage Luke 19:1-10 Zacchaeus the tax collector. There was then a number ‘if’ games and activities before Night Prayer at 10:30 followed by bed at 11 and lights out at 11:30, (more like 1:15am)!
Saturday started with morning prayer outside in the sunshine, after breakfast the group continued with the theme of "more than this" with plenty of activities and periods of reflection. Before lunch there was Mass, after lunch Kevin from Castlerigg lead the group on a walk which ended in Keswick where the young people spent some time in the town before returning to the youth centre. During the evening there was a period of reflection in the chapel with the opportunity for confession. This was followed by a number of games and activities before returning to the chapel for night prayer. Then bed and lights out midnight.
Sunday started with morning prayer again outside in the sunshine, after which there was breakfast and the the theme continued. The rest of the Sunday morning was used to bring together all the activities of the previous days. Then it was time to prepare for Mass, which the young people did with great care and attention. Mass was celebrated before lunch and after lunch the young people spent time evaluating the weekend.
Over all the weekend was a great success and we look forward to the retreat next year. Many thanks goes to Ruth & Joe for all the preparation and the delivery of the weekend. Many thanks also goes to Maria who was part of the team over the weekend. Many thanks also to Ladywell Shrine and Corpus Christi high school for the loan of their mini buses.
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