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.