Catholic Theological Union LogoCatholic Theological UnionLearn@CTUCatholics on CallCatholic Common Ground Initiative

How Spiritual Retreats Benefit Teens

Billboard
October 10, 2017

By Sally Perkins

How Spiritual Retreats Benefit Teens

For millennia, Christians have been going on retreats in order to connect with their spiritual self and with God. Since the pilgrimage of saints in the early years of Christendom, spiritual retreats have given individuals the chance to seek the company of God. Organizing regular retreats is not only good for the souls of the faithful but also for the good of the church. 

Church retreats can be especially beneficial for teenagers within the congregation who may be having difficulty understanding their spiritual self. Retreats give teens the chance to focus on their relationship with God and to connect with others within the church. They can talk one-on-one with their priest and with others to build their understanding of the Catholic faith and grow as a person. There are several reasons why it’s a good idea to encourage teens to participate in church retreats on a regular basis.

Make New Friends

A retreat is an ideal environment for teens to mingle with each other and make lifelong friends within the congregation. Traveling together can help to build a sense of fellowship and camaraderie even amongst relative strangers. During a spiritual retreat, teens can develop their social skills as they meet new people of a shared faith. Church retreats can also help to bring teenagers closer to their priest and other adults within the church, all of whom can provide valuable mentorship for youth members.

Learn Independence

As teenagers grow, it’s important that they learn to function as independent, productive members of society. Retreats force teenagers to care for themselves to a degree, introducing them to a semblance of independence while in a safe setting. Retreats also give teens the opportunity to understand and build their religious foundation, helping to set the stage for a rich spiritual life as they grow. Parents can rest easy sending their teenagers on church retreats with the knowledge that their child is safe in the hands of trusted church officials.

Develop a Relationship with God

A spiritual retreat offers the chance to get away from the daily grind of school, work, and home life that tends to drain the energy from overworked teens. The entire trip is about focusing on yourself and your relationship with God, eliminating the many distractions that teenagers face at other times. During spiritual retreats, teens are able to study the bible, discuss theology, and converse with their priest, all in a casual setting.

 

The image above is from the public domain.

© Copyright 2017 Catholic Theological Union. All rights reserved.
Site design and development by Symmetrical Design.