By Jennifer Russell

Young adults from across the Diocese of Allentown are preparing to be confirmed in the Church. To assist with this formation, the Diocese has enlisted NET Ministries to bring confirmation candidates closer to the Holy Spirit.

Held at various locations around the Diocese Oct. 18-22, NET Ministries ran confirmation retreats to encourage relational ministry and an openness to the gifts of the Holy Spirit among the young Catholics preparing to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation in the Diocese.

Confirmation candidates were invited to attend one of the five retreats run by the Minnesota-based missionary group. Through each of these retreats, NET missionaries provided their own testimonies on how God has worked in their lives and worked with candidates to learn how to hear God’s voice. After each testimony, retreatants were broken into small groups to discuss how they can see God’s will in their lives.

“Besides our relational ministry, prayer ministry is our most important part of our retreats,” said Nora, the retreat leader. Among the small breakout groups, retreatants were brought together to pray together and over one another for guidance as they embark on their formation toward confirmation.

After the small group breakouts, the confirmation candidates participated in team-building activities and games to encourage reflection on the Gospel and God’s Word in their lives.

“We need to focus on what we are hearing because God is witnessing to you through these different talks tonight,” said Nora as she addressed the retreatants before one of the testimony talks.

“We all have gifts that we look forward to getting or using. After a while, we forget about them or don’t use them anymore. The gifts the Holy Spirit gives us in Confirmation will never grow old,” said Diego, one of the retreat leaders.

The seven gifts of the Holy Spirit are wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord.

The young adults were eager to listen and hear from the retreat staff, all of whom were passionate about their faith journey.

Diego finished out his testimony reminding those on retreat that they too have to say “yes” to God as they approach their Confirmation. “You have to accept the gift of the Holy Spirit, it will never be forced on you. I encourage you to accept.”