Questions: 1. Why did you come here on this Luke 18 retreat? What have you heard?

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1 #1 Our Father s Invitation Small Ice Breaker Game : God has spoken to people in many different ways throughout history: Moses heard the voice of God in a burning bush; Paul was blinded by a flash of lightning; Francis Xavier was introduced to God by his good friend St. Ignatius; and Mary received God s message from the angel Gabriel. In each of these stories, God was inviting one of His children to experience His love in a new way, and He was inviting them to be closer to Him. This Luke 18 weekend is also an invitation. It is an invitation from God, inviting you to learn about and experience God s presence and love through the people here with you. -There s a reason you re here right now. -God s inviting you to learn about Him and experience His love this weekend. -Your personal testimony -God is inviting all of you into a relationship with Him. -We re glad you re here. 1. Why did you come here on this Luke 18 retreat? What have you heard? 2. How do you feel about being here this weekend? Why? Examples: Nervous, excited, or bored 3. Does God play a role in your life? And in what way? 4. Do you ever see or feel God and His love in your life? When? 5. What kind of a person is God to you? Why? Examples: Creator, provider, friend, judge, loving father, scary old man with a beard?

2 #2 Who am I? Activity Often we feel peer pressure to act differently than we normally do, or than we want to, or than we know is right. All these differently pressures and messages sometimes create doubt and confusion about who we really are, so it becomes very difficult to let other people see the real me not only because we are confused but also because we are afraid of others reaction. Often, we wear masks to hide ourselves or to show others what we think the want to see, but we don t need to be afraid. God made us the way we are for a reason and he loves each of us exactly as we are. When St. Francis of Assisi was a teenager, he was very rich, very popular, and the center of attention at all the parties. Still, Francis was unhappy and confused because he wanted to spend his life helping the poor that he saw around him: his friends thought that was a stupid idea. Finally, Francis realized that he did not need to follow his friends: Francis realized that God, made and loved him, and he decided to follow God and do what he believed was rightnot what was right for his friends. -Often times we hide who we really are in order to be the people we think others want us to be. -Who we are isn t who our friends are or what we do. -Your main identity is son/daughter of God 1. Do you act differently in front of different groups of people like your family or your friends? (At School?) Do you think that s a good thing or a bad thing? 2. What kind of person would you like other people to see you as? What qualities would you like to have? 3. What kind of a person do you dream of being? Try not to think of the way other people or your friends would want you to be. 4. What can you do to become that person? 5. How does the media tell us to be/act? 6. How do you see peer pressure/ superficial identity in your school/ friends?

3 #3 My Family Small Game Every family is different, and every family has good times and bad times. There are times when we feel very close to our families and can feel God s love, and there are times when we feel very separated and alone. We may not like some things about our families, but there is something very important underneath all the problems and that something is God s love for us. Jesus was also part of a family. He did not go directly from being a baby to being a loving and caring man overnight. Jesus became the man he did because of how he was raised by Joseph and Mary. They raised him to be a caring, kind, patient, and loving person because that was the kind of people they were. In that way, Jesus carried his family with him everywhere he went. -Every family has good times and bad times. -Your family is not perfect. That s ok. -God put us in our families for a reason. -Within our families we have certain responsibilities and roles. We also benefit from being in our family. -Jesus was a part of a family. The Holy Family is the perfect example of a family. 1. Tell me about your family. Who s in your family? 2. How are you similar to your family, in looks or in personality? 3. What are some of the responsibilities you have in your family? What are some of the good things you get out of being a part of your family? 4. How do you feel when things are going well in your family? How do you feel when they aren t going too well? 5. Does your family bring you closer to God or separate you from God? 6. Do you see God in your family? How?

4 #4 My Faith Family Small Attention Grabbing Game A faith family is nay group of people- friends, parishioners, youth group that help you feel the presence and love of God, and while we are all members of families at home, we are also members of the faith family made up of all Christians. Just like our biological families, faith families have good times and bad times. There are times when we feel very close and can feel God s love and times when we feel separated and alone. Our faith families are based on God s love, and it is important that we keep that in mind as we work to pull them together to help each other feel that love. Peter was a fisherman and Paul hated Christians. They came from completely different parts of society, but God brought them together to help spread God s love to others. They became members of the faith family of the Christian Church and worked to strengthen that family by sharing their love with the other members. -What is a faith family? A group of people who help you feel the presence and love of God. -Faith families are like normal families-sometimes things go well and other times things are difficult. But because they are based on God s love, we can work to keep them together. -Jesus brought together people from completely different parts of society to be a faith familyfaith families can be incredibly diverse. -Responsibilities and benefits of being in a faith family. 1. What is a faith family to you? What faith families are you a part of? 2. Is it important to have a faith family? Why? 3. What are ways you can establish a faith family? 4. What are some of the responsibilities you have in your faith family? What are some of the positive things you get from being a member of a faith family? 5. Do you plan on building a faith family off of Luke 18? 6. If you can t open up to your biological family, who can you open up to?

5 #5 Hurting and Making Up Activity There is always going to be hurt feelings in a family and it comes in many different ways. One of the most important factors in making up is communication. Sometimes the person who has been hurt does not say anything and holds the pain and anger inside while the other person goes on, unaware that they have hurt anyone. There is always a risk in being honest and saying that we have been hurt or asking for forgiveness or apologizing, but it is the only way to truly resolve painful situations. We must try to remember the message of love and forgiveness that Jesus tried to teach us. -The importance of communication and apologizing after you are hurt or you hurt someone. -The importance of asking for forgiveness from those you hurt. -Forgiving doesn t always mean completely trusting again. -Forgive as God forgives (Prodigal Son =the father was very forgiving) 1. Do you tell a person when they ve hurt you? Why or why not? 2. How do you tell someone if they have hurt you? 3. Is it easier to forgive or to ask for forgiveness? Why? 4. What is the difference between forgiving a person and completely trusting them again? How do you work to gain back that trust? 5. How does it feel when you make up with someone who you ve hurt or who has hurt you? *Letter Writing and Burning*

6 #7 Prayer and Sacraments Opening prayer Small game Sometimes when we don t talk to a friend or spend time with her/him, are friendship starts to fade and get weaker but it is always there waiting to be renewed. Often we say we are too busy or too tired to tale to God and spend time with Him and, just like with our friends, our relationship with God starts to fade. Prayer is an opportunity for us to get reacquainted with God and renew our friendship. There are many different ways to pray including praying by yourself formally and informally, praying with a group, reading the Bible, or going to Mass. It is important to realize that no form of prayer is better than another. God wants us to be comfortable when we pray and we each need and want different things in our relationship with God. St. Anthony loved to be alone because he did not want to be interrupted when he was talking to God, so he built himself a treehouse where he could go and pray. Anthony liked to pray because it brought him closer to God and helped him feel God s love. -Prayer is talking and listening to God. -Different ways to pray: informal, formal, Bible, Mass, Adoration, Thanksgiving, Rosary. -Offering up a test or a sports game can be a prayer. -Need for prayer. Relationships don t last if people don t talk. That includes your relationship with God. -It can be really difficult, but it s worth it. Prayer is a battle. -Pray in good times and bad. -Remember to thank God for all of the blessings he has given us. 1. Do you pray often? *if they answer yes, in what ways?* *if no, in what ways can they start praying?* 2. Is it hard to remember to pray sometimes? What are ways you can remind yourself to pray? 3. When you pray is it usually because you need to ask Him for something or because you want to thank Him for something? 4. Do you find it easy or difficult to listen to God? 5. Do you ever pray by reading the Bible? Why or why not? 6. How do you feel about going to Mass? What are things you can do that may help you stay focused and pray during mass?

7 #8 Gifts and Talents -Everyone has gifts and talents they can use for God. -Could be physical talents (sports, music) or spiritual gifts (kindness, patience, etc) Affirmation Circle Pick one person and have three people say gifts that they saw in that person. Then go around the circle.

8 #9 Our Special Mission Small Game The Luke 18 weekend is almost over, and it is time to take what we have learned back into our daily lives. We, as young people, are not the future of the church ; we are the church right now, and it is our special mission to help share God s love with those around us. Sharing God s love is not always an easy job, because it will often mean taking a risk and going against what others say is right, but there are many ways to reach out to someone and give a gift from our hearts. WE need to remember that when times get tough, Jesus is there to help us, either through our friends and family or through our prayers. Jesus will never leave us alone. Both St. Therese and St. Francis wanted to go to China as missionaries, but neither of them ever made it that far. Instead, they were content to share God s love wherever they were and with whomever they met. They became God s missionaries in their own homes and towns. -Need to share with others what you learned this weekend. -It s not always easy. There will be obstacles. -When there are obstacles, rely on Jesus (prayer and faith family) -There are many different ways to share with people the love of God. -The Great Commissioning 1. What are some practical ways you can share God s love with others? 2. What do you think might make it difficult to share God s love? How can you overcome these difficulties? *Letter to Self*

9 Men s & Women s Talk Main Points of the Talk (Girls): -Modesty -You are beautiful and you have dignity. -Your worth comes from God, not guys. -Don t define yourselves by the guys you date. -Emotional purity/emotional Virtue -The value and beauty of the gift of sex. -Counterarguments to things like what if we love each other? -How far is too far? -Birth control. -STDs -Things that aren t actually sex-hand jobs, oral sex, sexting. Main Points of the Talk (Boys): - What does it mean to be a Man of God - How the world views women vs how we should view women - The challenge of pornography -Value and sacredness of the gift of sex.- -How far is too far? -Love women like Christ loved the Church (Ephesians 5) -How do we love women -the support of our brothers in Christ -Give everyone a piece of paper and tell them to write down any questions they may have. Then collect them all and read through and try to answer all of the questions. If you don t know the answer, don t make one up! Offer to ask someone who knows and answer it later. -Make sure questions are answered in a modest way. DO NOT go overboard on sharing details.

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