On Friday 24th November from 7-8.30pm our Lead Catechist, Anthony Connelly led 40 of our young people who have registered to partake in the Confirmation programme in our first session. The evening was a mix of prayer, fun games, teaching videos and meeting in small groups to think about some of the questions raised in the videos.
Some of the things the young people felt were most important, were: ‘To have faith in God’, ‘To live in peace and contentment’, ‘To try to follow the example of Christ’, ‘Happiness’.
At each session the young people leave their mobile phones in a box so they can concentrate on the programme and leave the social media world behind for an hour and a half. The session started with a prayer read by Michelle, one of the catechist team and the lighting of a candle to welcome in the light of Christ.
Fr Anthony welcomed all the candidates to the programme and introduced me and Anthony as the Lead Catechists. We then invited the rest of the team, Michelle, Debbie, Enrico, Ethan, Guillane, Rachel and Aaron to introduce themselves too. After this the 40 candidates were split into two groups, and we played two games with them. The first game involved both groups organising themselves in order of birth month (this was an icebreaker to encourage them to chat to each other). The second game was livelier, it’s called the up and over game and again there were two team of 20. Each team had to pass a balloon back down the line, up and over, and whichever team completed the challenge first won the prize of two packets of sweets. Lots of noisy fun was had during this game.
After the games, we had an Alpha Youth video which discussed the question: ‘Is there more to life than this?’ It explored themes such as what makes you happy? We all have a void inside of us and although we can try to fill it with material things, we will never truly be happy with these things as we were made to be in relationship with God. Only by having a personal relationship with the Lord will we be truly happy.
After the video we split into small groups and played the happiness game. This involved a pyramid that we put the things which we think are most important in life at the top and the less important things further down. Some of the things the young people felt were most important, were: ‘To have faith in God’, ‘To live in peace and contentment’, ‘To try to follow the example of Christ’, ‘Happiness’. Each group had lots of discussion about what things should be top of the list and why.
We then had another video of called ‘Don’t Limit God/Never Give Up’ by an inspirational Christian called Nick Vujicic, who has overcome a lot of issues in his life including severe bullying when he was at school because of his disability.
Anthony finished the session by talking about the Beatitudes and left the candidates with some homework to do some research on the Beatitudes, what they mean and how they relate to our lives today.
All the candidates partook fully in the session, and it is a privilege to be part of these young people’s spiritual journey to help them develop a personal relationship with Jesus.
Our next session is on Friday, 8th December at 7pm and the theme for this session is: Does God exist? Please pray for all of our confirmation candidates and for the catechists to be able to support them throughout the programme.
by Cathechist Mandy Connelly
photos ©️ alobo