Retreats are designed to provide an atmosphere and environment for adolescents that are conducive to the kind of reflection and self-examination that can result in movement toward a deeper relationship with Christ. Spiritus is a 12-hour retreat experience that focuses greatly on the role of the Holy Spirit in our lives. This time away from one’s busy schedule is an excellent opportunity to reflect on how we welcome God into our lives. With the leadership of their peers and select adult advisors, retreatants are challenged to examine their relationships with Jesus, others, and ourselves. It focuses on helping participants to ask and live the questions of our Roman Catholic Faith. While the retreat is an integral part of the Saint Anne Confirmation preparation process, any high school student, sophomore year or older, is welcome to attend.
Adult Advisors/Mentors for the Student Team are needed twice a year for the Spiritus retreats.
Adults and teens co-lead the small discussion groups in the course of the retreat. The role is to facilitate discussion that follows either student or adult talks or video clips.
Number of ministers needed:
6-7 adults are needed for each of two Spiritus retreats per year.
Some adults are asked to serve as small group facilitators and some are asked to serve as support for the retreat director. All adults are asked to participate in general chaperone duties, keeping an eye on the students to assure safety and security throughout the retreat. A desire to interact with adolescents, good rapport with teens, genuine care and concern for the issues raised, and the ability to facilitate group discussion with young people are all key qualities for a Spiritus Advisor.
Length of Term/Expectations:
Spiritus is a 12-hour retreat held on Sundays; from 8:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Retreats are typically scheduled once in late January, and once in late February. Adults should attend one two-hour briefing meeting prior to the retreat for training and explanation of their role during the weekend.
Please note that all adult volunteers who are working with children are required to fulfill all Protecting God’s Children components including attending a safe environment program (VIRTUS).
The retreat is held at Bellarmine. It is offered to our 2nd year Confirmation candidates each year.
Contact: Michael Hugo: firstname.lastname@example.org or 847/620-3073
Commentary from our past Spiritus attendees…
- Appreciate everything in life, even little things.
- I learned service should be a permanent element in my life and not just a thing you have to do to get confirmed.
- I learned that making wise decisions will help you out in the long run. Stay loyal to God and he will help you.
- I learned that God will give you ups and downs, but he never gives you something you can’t handle.
- It may not seem like it, but everyone has gone through something hard or scary and they need people there for them.
- I learned a lot about how mistakes can shape your life in the long run and it shapes how you are today.
- I learned about experiences other people had and how they dealt with the situtations, so it can help me in the future.
- Not everybody is what they seem on the outside, everyone has a hidden story, or something you wouldn’t expect about them.
- I learned some inspirational quotes from Sarah Barness’s talk that I will never forget.
- I learned how hard it can be for some people to act with courage, kindness or honesty.
- I learned that there are many problems in this world that some people have to cope with that are well outside the scope of my problems.
- I learned that if something is bothering you, you should tell someone about it.
- I learned that courage, respect and living with God are things I want to strive for.
- I learned that everyone has the same struggles and stresses in life that I do.
- It is very easy to judge people but you become a better person when you talk to them and really get to know them first.
- I learned that many people have had similar experiences with depression and death as I have.
- I learned that God gives the hardest battles to his toughest soldiers.
- Everyone is equally imperfect.
- I learned that God is always there for me even when no one else is. I am never alone. I learned that you have to take initiative in your life. You have to be courageous and stand up for what you want and you have to be able to let God into your life.
- I learned that you can open up to people to make things better in your life.
- People can change.
- That you aren’t the only person struggling currently and you shouldn’t take life for granted.
- Sometimes it is important to just be open and honest with people. Even if you don’t want to. Only good things can happen.
- I learned about how good my life is and how important my choices now are for the future.
- I learned that everyone is fighting their own battles and that small kind acts from us can go a long way.
- I sort of knew some of the people in my group, but not well; so it was really interesting and eye-opening for me.
- Learned more about the people in my group and I learned who my sacraments were in my life.
- I learned that through prayer and talking to others people can recover from anything.
- I learned that a lot of other people are going through similar things as me.
- To stand up for what you believe in and to treat everyone nicely because we don’t know their life.
- I learned that if you just talk to someone it can make my day, even if its just saying “hi”.
- I learned that everyone struggles with things that are different from me and aren’t things I would always understand, but I have sympathy.
- I learned that God throws obstacles at you that he knows that you can handle; and those obstacles make you stronger and bring you closer to God.
- I learned it is nice to talk to people and other people’s stories give me a perspective on life.
- While I learned many things, one thing that stood out to me in one of our small groups is that life isn’t about quantity, it’s about quality. Whether it be friends or acquaintances. I really like that advice.
- Everyone has problems and one isn’t greater than the other. Everyone has different outlooks on things depending on their experiences.
- We can learn from others experiences.
- We all have different problems going on so you don’t have any right to lash out at someone if you are mad at them.
- I learned that there are very courageous guys and girls in the community as leaders who are willing to share their stories on how they found faith.
- I learned about how frequently people need someone just to talk to.
- I learned how to find courage and the best in others and that small acts of kindness go a long way. I learned to appreciate the relationships I have with others and with God more.
- I learned that a lot of times you cannot judge someone without getting to really talk to them about their past.
- God is always there for you and on your side when no one else is.
- I learned that talking really helps and a simple act of kindness can make someone’s day.
- I learned that after hearing everyone’s stories, no one deserves to be judged.
- I really learned all the things that happen in your life and even in your worst times you can talk to God and He will always be there.
- I have learned that no matter how low I may feel, I always have God and other loved ones to help me through it.
Michael V. Hugo
Saint Anne Catholic Community
Youth and Young Adult Ministry