Getting to Know Jesus: A Retreat Inspired by Dear Pope Francis

Getting to Know Jesus: A Retreat Inspired by Dear Pope Francis - with cover art from the book

Invite children to get to know Jesus through a special retreat inspired by Ignatian spirituality and the book Dear Pope Francis. The retreat includes Scripture passages with the theme of getting to know Jesus. Each passage provides the basis for one session. The sessions can be prayed with over the course of a week in a Catholic school or in shorter sessions over the course of a one-day or weekend retreat for parishes.

Three options for prayer exercises allow children to experience a variety of ways to encounter God. Retreat organizers may wish to break up sessions with stretch breaks, music, or short talks from peers, catechists, or parents about how they get to know Jesus.

The retreat is adapted from materials by Rev. John Belmonte, SJ, Ph.D. It’s perfect to use with children preparing for the Sacraments of First Reconciliation, First Eucharist, or Confirmation. It can also be used to introduce any group of children to the riches of Ignatian prayer. Send participants home at the end of the retreat with their own copies of Dear Pope Francis (quantity discounts available), so they can have a beautiful keepsake of this special time of retreat.

If you use the retreat, please let us know how it works in your setting. Share your stories in our Catholic Faith Formation group on Facebook.

About Joe Paprocki 2702 Articles
Joe Paprocki, DMin, is National Consultant for Faith Formation at Loyola Press, where, in addition to his traveling/speaking responsibilities, he works on the development team for faith formation curriculum resources including Finding God: Our Response to God’s Gifts and God’s Gift: Reconciliation and Eucharist. Joe has more than 35 years of experience in ministry and has presented keynotes, presentations, and workshops in more than 100 dioceses in North America. Joe is a frequent presenter at national conferences including the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, the Mid-Atlantic Congress, and the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership. He is the author of numerous books, including the best seller The Catechist’s Toolbox, A Church on the Move, Under the Influence of Jesus, and Called to Be Catholic—a bilingual, foundational supplemental program that helps young people know their faith and grow in their relationship with God. Joe is also the series editor for the Effective Catechetical Leader and blogs about his experiences in faith formation at www.catechistsjourney.com.

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