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In October the program started with an Away Day at Bosham (This report can already be seen in the posting in the ‘youth pages’). The group continued towards the Tuesday night sessions and the weekend away.
This was truly a great evening; all of the teenagers had dedicated jobs to help create a shared meal.
- Team one: Created a theme (World foods), prepared the room and the prayer for the meal.
- Team Two: Brought together the main meal for everyone, this included some Chilli con carne, rice, chicken, home made pita bread, garlic bread, pizza etc...
- Team Three: Brought together the Desserts and Drinks
The input afterwards was with Fr Paul in which they looked at the Mass as a shared meal of Community and Thanksgiving of Jesus’ sacrifice for us.
Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament was followed afterwards in the side chapel.
This night was opportunities were the young people participated in a carousel of four different prayer experiences. They were given 10mins at each experience.
The Rosary – We explained what the Rosary is and how to say it, then said one decade together.
Prayer Wall – The Theme of this prayer wall was hand of Christ, they all mapped out one of their hands on a piece of paper, cut it out and all were collected and are now on display in the parish upper room. This is worth having a look at!!
Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament – Fr Paul led each group in quiet prayer, reflecting on the Jesus present in the Eucharist.
Lexio Divina - The teenagers were read a piece of scripture to reflect upon and which allows them to think about the meaning behind it.
From Friday 9th – Sunday 11th of December, 25 young people stepped back from life as they know it to experience the last part of their faith exploration journey.
The Weekend away took place at CYE in Chidham, this place is truly amazing as function rooms, dinning hall and accommodation are all situated on a boat!! CYE has been in the area for 25 years and recently they have just brought and equipped a new boat called ‘TS Resolute’. The boat floats with the Bosham tide and is secured to the shore.
On the Friday night we played lots of games and looked at our expectations of the weekend away. Amazingly for a lot of the young people this would be the first time they would have experienced a weekend away. The evening session was a light hearted look at Jesus, who he was and what people perceive him to be in media and cultures.
Saturday was our biggest day. The day started with an amazing sunrise on Chichester harbour. For the teens it started quite differently than what most of them would be used too. First it was a 7am wake up call, then morning prayer and after breakfast they were treated to ‘Wake Up St Ric!!’ This was an energetic dance routine by Paul and Fr Paul to get the teen’s bodies and brains functioning from the kick off!!
The first morning session was chance to look at different examples of agencies/people that have a life of faith and also living it!! These examples were HCPT, The Mizen Family, Cafod in Kenya, Mary’s Meal (Charlie’s Story). The Teens were able to discover that having a faith and living it go hand in hand and that it is not impossible to make a difference even if it is only a small one.
The second morning session was a chance to Quiz the Priest!! The teens were given a opportunity to ask a question to Fr Paul no matter how weird or difficult it was.
He did very well!!
Before lunch the teens were given some time to reflect upon Blessed Cardinal Newman’s ‘Mission of My Life’
In the afternoon we had a walk around the Bosham harbour taking in all the amazing scenery.
The third session took place before dinner where the teenagers looked at the Prodigal Son story and afterwards Fr Paul went through Sin, Grace and the Sacrament of Reconciliation, this was to help them prepare to receive Reconciliation later that evening.
In the evening one of the highlights of the weekend away took place… The Party with Karaoke!! All enjoyed playing the ‘Aftereight Challenge!!’ (the pictures speak for themselves!!) singing along to songs, even Fr Paul and Fr Kieron took part!!
The fourth and last session of the day was the Sacrament of Reconciliation and sensory stations. The teens were offered a chance to visit different stations of prayer and quiet reflection. These stations were based on smell, touch, sight, hear and taste. It was truly an amazing time in which the teens not only went up to see a Priest, but were also offered an experience to grow deeper in their faith.
On Sunday Morning we gathered for Morning Prayer before breakfast. The morning was used to prepare for Mass. During Mass we celebrated all that we had learn and experienced over this time together. After mass we had our last session which recapped the whole weekend away and looked ‘Confirmation and Living it’ This session lead them to think about all they have learnt throughout the whole faith exploration program and ask them to go away and seriously think about the decision of continuing towards receiving the sacrament of Confirmation.
After lunch we help clean up the boat, our rooms and departed.
Our thanks first go to CYE Sailing centre for providing an amazing facility in which young people could discover Jesus more deeply. The place is amazing and the food was just heavenly!! Please visit their website http://www.cye.org.uk/
Thank you to Fr Kieron and Fr Ron being part of the Saturday night
Thank you to Fr Paul, Helen, Michael, Martin and Emily for being leaders serving the young people even in its hard moments (e.g. the middle of the night!!).
Thank you to all the Parents for allowing the parish to look after their children and help fund them to attend this memorable weekend.
Lastly but not least the young people who have all chosen to continue towards being confirmed in May at Arundel Cathedral.
Parish Youth Co-ordinator
To the parish community please pray for these young people in their journey towards receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation: