Local teens attend Confirmation Retreat

MAYVILLE – Gifts of the Holy Spirit was the theme of the Confirmation Retreat held on Sunday for the teens preparing for the sacrament of Confirmation on May 16 at St. Mary of Lourdes Roman Catholic Church in Mayville. The retreat was coordinated by Youth Minister Kathy Nicastro and Father Todd Remick. Facilitators included Dan Stewart, Nancy Roche, Jon Schmitz and John Lamphard.

The students were engaged in discussion, games, exercises, inquiry, prayer and meditation to discern their God-given gifts and the presence of the Holy Spirit in their lives. Maple Grove junior Corrine Cardinale, a parishioner at St. Mary of Lourdes Church in Bemus Point, addressed the teens, speaking on the importance of faith in her life and the impact confirmation made to her. She encouraged them to take an active part in their churches and to be intentional in giving of their time to family, grandparents and friends. An interactive walk was taken on the Chautauqua Institution’s grounds at Bestor Plaza.

Schmitz discussed miracles and the three defining characteristics necessary for recognition within the Church. Discovering whether or not these met the criteria as miracles, Emma Franczak noted the Stigmata, Paige Bentham spoke of the healing water of Lourdes and Michael Parker presented the “Miracle of the Sun” at Fatima, Portugal in 1917.

Participating in the retreat were Catholic teens from St. Mary of Lourdes, Bemus Point, and Mayville, Christ Our Hope, and Holy Apostles Churches: Emma Franczak, Paige Bentham, James Duncanson, Shannon Stewart, Michael Parker, Emily Swanson, Gabriel Rater, Ellie Roche, Ariel Samlock, Stephen Svetz, Stephen Walczak, Lena Young, Josh Nelson and Francesca Galbato. A sub dinner was catered by The Olde Corner Deli.

Remick concluded the retreat by celebrating the liturgy with the confirmation students at the Catholic House on Good Shepherd Sunday. This name comes from the gospel readings from John 10:10-18. In this reading, Christ is described as the Good Shepherd who, by dying on the Cross, lay down His life for His sheep. Remick noted it was also Vocations Sunday, asking the teens to prayerfully consider if God will call them to be sisters, deacons or priests to serve the Body of Christ. Gospel readings were given by Stephen Svetz and Michael Parker. Singing was led by Lena Young.

Each teen was given a small ceramic cross with an image of a dove representing the Holy Spirit and they were asked to pray for the requests of each other. Bibles had previously been given to each Confirmation student to guide them in their faith journey.

Teens and adults interested in learning more about the Catholic faith, sacrament of Confirmation or membership in one of the churches mentioned above are encouraged to contact Remick at 386-2400.