Ignite, had their annual Fall Retreat retreat in mid-November at the beautiful Maris Stella Retreat & Conference Center in Harvey Cedars, Long Beach Island. There was about 40 teens in attendance. The theme of the retreat was “A Time such as This: Being an Authentic Catholic in 2019”. With this relevant topic, the teens heard talks on why be a Catholic in 2019 and the unique adventure God calls each of us to journey with Him with a courageous yes, how to love others with different beliefs and views through persistent yet loving actions and relying on the Holy Spirit, how to rely on God through extreme difficulties and tragedies by making Him our foundation and how to share and defend our faith to the world that condemns Christians for their beliefs.
The speakers took these big topics and made them relatable to the teens yet challenged them to think and respond. The group had a time of adoration and confession on Saturday night where Jesus worked in powerfully in the hearts of the teens. The incredible youth workers planned all the details and ran the weekend for the group along. Overall the weather was beautiful, and the group was grateful to have shared the weekend together through meals, games, free time on the beach and by the bay, and encountering God together through talks, witnesses, worship, mass and adoration.
“Jesus loves all of us. Let’s not give anyone a reason to think differently than that. Our words and our actions should never lead people to believe that Jesus doesn’t love every single one of us.”
-Katie, youth worker from Talk 2: Loving Others Despite Differences
“We need to stand our ground and be firm in our faith.... When you have a temptation to do something, we need to have the confidence to say no or when someone is doing something wrong we need to stand up against it. We need to get into the mentality of understanding that we have a strong foundation in the Catholic Church. We have tons of scholars and saints behind us that spent their entire lives to provide us with the knowledge that we have about our faith today and provide us with a solid foundation of why we believe it. So we can’t be afraid and we can’t be convinced that our opinion doesn’t matter and we can’t be convinced that we should be silent.”
- Chris, youth worker from Talk 4: Defending Our Faith