Faith. Fellowship. Friends. These fundamentals capture the essence of the esprit de corps that is the St. Jude 8th Grade Class of 2020. These values were evident at the full-day day 8th Grade Confirmation Retreat at the Franciscan Sisters of the Poor Convent. “Jesus loves you more than you could ever imagine'' was the theme.
On November 11, 2019, the 8th grade class of 2020 boarded busses and traveled to their Confirmation retreat. Confirmation is the last of the three Sacraments of Initiation in the Roman Catholic Church. Mr. Jeff Rosfeld, a youth group leader from All Saints Parish, led the annual retreat. Mr. Rosfeld brought the faith to life in a lively, interactive, and meaningful way, engaging the students and challenging them to live their faith in an increasingly secular world. Some of the activities included ways to live the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, to set aside more time for personal prayer, and to learn how the 10 Commandments, Works of Mercy, and Beatitudes can be applied in everyday situations, which tied in splendidly with the St. Jude School motto, “Driven by Faith, Inspired to Learn.”
Students were given time to pray, both silently and out loud, meditate, discuss, witness to their faith, and work on activities collaboratively.
The retreat culminated with a prayer service in the convent’s chapel. During the prayer service St. Jude students were given the opportunity to list people and groups they wanted to keep in their prayers. Mr. Rosfeld lead the students in meditative prayer, accompanied by music, heightening the spiritual awareness in the sacred space of the chapel, which is constructed in the Gothic style, complete with the remains of a 2nd century saint. The St. Jude 8th grade Class of 2020 will remember this spiritual experience for the rest of their lives.
St. Jude 8th graders commented on the meaningfulness of the retreat. One 8th grade student said, “I thought it was a really great experience and an opportunity to grow in my Roman Catholic faith.” In a similar spirit, another 8th grader expressed, “It managed to stay interesting without being boring.” Mr. Jordan, 8th grade Religion instructor, expressed, “Students came away with fortified friendships, a reaffirmed commitment to live the Gospel Mission, and a renewed sense of faith.''