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Luke 18 Brings Teens Together With Annual Church Retreat

By Natalie Seay, Excalibur Yearbook

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Luke 18 is a church retreat most Catholic youth groups provide for eighth graders that will soon receive the sacrament of confirmation. It helps prepare the eighth graders to be emotionally and spiritually prepared to receive the sacrament. Along with adult youth leaders, high school students make up the cori team, which plans and prepares the retreat environment, and junior and senior students make up the Apostles team, which writes a series of talks and leads small groups. The retreat was held on March 24 – 26 at Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in St. Charles.

“We do Luke 18 to get the eighth graders closer to God and to get their fire for God going before confirmation,” freshman Molly Scott said.

Throughout the weekend, they hear stories about the struggles you go through as a teenager and how to make smart decisions and stay positive. They also play games, have small groups made up of eighth graders with junior and senior leaders where they break down a little bit of what they just talked about and they watch a play put on by the high schoolers while eating their meals.

“I really liked it, and I’m glad I got to go because my eighth grade I didn’t put enough in it so I didn’t get much out, but this year I got a lot more out of it,”  junior Kristen Warhover said.

Every year, there is a theme chosen by the students to make it a little more interesting. They decorate the church and base the weekend off of it. This year, the theme was Scooby-Doo. In addition to the theme, another important part of the weekend is the overnight aspect. On Friday and Saturday night, the teens get to sleep at “sleep houses” provided by parents or other people in the parish. The roughly 50 teenagers that attended this weekend were happy with the outcome.

“I attend Luke 18, because I love watching people grow in their faith,” senior Rebecca Purcell said. “A lot of the eighth graders admit they didn’t want to go on the retreat, but by the end, they admit they loved it and never want to leave. The change you see in them from the beginning of the retreat to the end is absolutely beautiful.”

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Luke 18 Brings Teens Together With Annual Church Retreat