Advent Retreat for Young Adults
“Relationship with yourself, others and God”
During the second week of Advent, at the Shrine of our Lady of Czestochowa, young adults from Connecticut, New Jersey, Virginia and Pennsylvania met together for a one day retreat to learn how to build relationships with themselves, others and God. An idea to create a get together for young adults with strong spiritual accents was mentioned during one of the young adults retreat way before it was initially planned.
“For a very long time I had been asking God for help in organizing an event for young adults in the Shrine of Czestochowa. When talking in the Shrine with young adults who were high school and college students; I realized that they all had one need. It wasn’t always appeased in the church, especially when it came to transitioning into adulthood and when it came to building strong interpersonal connections with others. I had no clue how to organize something like this, and I left this initiative up to God to take care of it. Indeed, God did take care of it by sending me the right people- like Agata Zarczynska who was one of our event organizers” – said Father Timothy Tarnacki OSPPE.
The main focus of the Advent retreat was to invite young adults for an entire day to not only meet and make new friends but to also engage in Mass, adoration, and to participate in mini conferences, as well as, group discussions. Young adults also had time to play games, chat together, enjoy lunch and dinner, laugh, share ideas and take walks together around Lake Galena. Most importantly, young adults were able to have great time with great people and God.
During one of the mini conferences, Fr. Timothy talked about four different types of love, but the main focus was on the greek word agape which means “love of others”- a type of love one can find between God and humans. Young adults were able to learn about empathy, relationships that form between best friends and understand how agape can be formed between oneself and God. In one of the conferences, Fr. Timothy used interesting quotes from well-known writers, saints and made connections to the Bible. By providing examples young adults were able to not only understand a deeper meaning of the word agape, but also see how they can share that love among others. Most importantly, they had learned how to create this special, deeper and meaningful bond with God.
Young adults brainstormed ideas on how to form relationships during a pandemic or how to accept one’s weakness. It was interesting to learn about different ways in which God tells us each day that we’re valuable to Him. Young adults were able to not only build their self-esteem but also escape from their insecurities by reading Bible verses. The participants were led in prayer to the Holy Spirit, had smaller prayers at various times during the conferences. According to the church’s tradition- the entire young adult group (together with Fr. Timothy), prayed the Divine Mercy Chaplet. Young adults were also able to go to confession and spend time with Jesus during Adoration at the Chapel of St. Anne.
After the completion of Advent retreat for young adults, I had interviewed Fr. Timothy Tarnacki and gathered his feedback, as well as, few of his reflections. Fr. Timothy had mentioned that he is very happy to be able to organize this event for young adults who met together to search for God and build stronger relationships with Him.
“God had answered my prayers. In the beginning when everything was unclear about how to organize such events based on demographics, God took care of everything. He made sure young adults from various backgrounds came together to look for relations with themselves, others and God”.
In the end Father Timothy concluded that:
“This is a very strong foundation, especially to young people. This retreat also allowed me to realize that young adults are indeed looking for spiritual guidance and would want to take time to deepen their relationship with themselves, others and God. We would be spending more time developing further plans to expand on it in the future. It will allow us to build stronger relationships with ourselves by being more aware who we really are in God’s eyes”.
We hope that in the future we would be able to welcome more young adults who together with us, would be willing to spend time with great people and God. For more information about Young Adult Retreats or to learn about us contact Agata Żarczyńska at: email@example.com
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