Confirmation Retreat Weekends are $175 per teen. There is a nonrefundable portion of $75 per retreatant. Reserved spaces are transferable until two weeks before, after which there is a $50 rescheduling fee (provided space is available on the desired weekend). The cost will include lunch, dinner, and snacks on Saturday and breakfast, lunch, and a snack on Sunday. Accommodations can be made for those with allergies to egg, dairy, gluten, and nuts, provided advance notice of at least two weeks is given. For other special food requests, including vegetarian and vegan meals, please contact Jeffrey Campeau.
Confirmation retreats hosted at the NET Center in West St. Paul are for Catholic youth grades 8-12 preparing for the Sacrament of Confirmation. All of our Confirmation Retreat Weekends offer the same programming and content. They offer the opportunity for Adoration, Reconciliation, and Sunday Mass, as well as large group talks/presentations, small group discussions, games, skits, and more. They will have teens in attendance from all over the Archdiocese (and some from neighboring dioceses as well), and average 80-85 attendees each weekend.
Throughout the weekend, you’ll hear talks on:
- What being Catholic truly means
- How the world presents a false reality to the way we live our lives
- The dissatisfaction we experience when we place the things of this world before our relationship with God
- The gifts of the Holy Spirit in relation to Confirmation
- Separate men’s and women’s sessions, focusing on our unique call as God’s sons and daughters
There is also an opportunity for the sacrament of Confession and Sunday Mass.
8:15am - Sign-in
8:50am - Opening Session
9:35am - Small Group 1
10:05am - Snacks and Large Group Games (LGG)
10:35am - Presentation on the Sacrament of Confirmation
11:00am - Small Group 2
11:30am - LGG
12:00pm - Lunch
1:00pm - Men’s & Women’s Sessions
2:30pm - Small Group 3
3:55pm - Presentation on the Sacrament of Reconciliation
4:00pm - Small Group 4
4:45pm - LGG
5:30pm - Dinner
6:10pm - Free Time
7:00pm - Prayer Ministry with Adoration
8:45pm - Break with Snacks
9:00pm - Small Group 5
9:30 pm - Night Announcements
10:30pm - Lights Out
7:55 am - Wake Up
8:30am - Breakfast
9:30am - Presentation on Personal Prayer
10:15am - Grand Silence
11:15am - Clean Dorms with Small Group
11:35am - LGG
12:00pm - Lunch
12:30pm - Building Cleanup
1:10pm - Presentation on the Eucharist
1:20pm - Gospel Based Activity
2:00pm - Mass
3:00pm - Break
3:05pm - Small Group 6
3:45pm - Ending Session
4:00pm - End Retreat
NET Ministries thoroughly screens and trains every NET Missionary prior to their work with young people. Specifically, NET follows the recommendations of the “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People,” which was created by the National Catholic Conference of Bishops (now USCCB) in June 2002 and June 2005. Per these recommendations, all of our team members go through a four-part scrutiny to ensure their suitability for work with youth prior to their conducting any ministry with youth.
- In the initial screening and selection process, NET requires several references for each potential NET Missionary, references who can testify to the suitability of a prospective team member. Each reference is originally submitted in writing, and then verified by our staff. This is part of the extensive application process which includes two live interviews and a letter from their Pastor stating they are in good standing with the Catholic Church.
- NET conducts a criminal background check of each prospect, specialized to accommodate the young age of the NET Missionaries. Our criminal background checks are conducted by a private investigation agency called The McDowell Agency, which is also the agency being utilized by the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. This background check includes a search on the National Sex Offenders Database.
- NET Missionaries are trained and certified in safe environments through the “VIRTUS–Protecting God’s Children” course by the National Catholic Risk Retention Group, Inc. NET Team members are also required to successfully complete NET’s training process, which is conducted prior to and during their ministry. During this training, the NET Missionaries receive instruction concerning:
- appropriate standards of conduct for those working with youth;
- inappropriate speech, touch, and relationships with youth;
- requirements for creating a safe environment for all retreatants;
- guidelines for ensuring their own personal safety.
Lastly, all team members acknowledge, by their signature, that they have received, understood, and intend to conduct themselves in accordance with NET Ministries’ Personal Conduct Policies. Once the NET Missionaries are in active ministry with NET, they continue to receive ongoing training and supervision by NET staff members, which includes weekly contact and monthly onsite visits. Personnel records, including the above mentioned paperwork, are all kept on each individual team member at the NET office. A more comprehensive explanation is available if needed by contacting NET’s Human Resources Coordinator at email@example.com.
How can I get in contact with my child if I have an emergency while they are on retreat?
If you need to contact your child during the retreat due to an emergency, please contact our CRW Emergency phone number. The phone will always be with a staff member, and they will be able to help you get in contact with your child within an hour of your call.
What accommodations are there?
The NET Center has both Women’s and Men’s dorm rooms. Each dorm has a shower room, a toilet room, two sinks, five bunk beds, and cubbies to hold clothes and bags.
What if my child has allergies?
We try to accommodate all allergies and dietary restrictions. When filling out the waiver, please let us know any allergies or dietary restrictions your child has. Our hospitality staff goes to full lengths to make sure that each allergy is accommodated for with an adequate substitute and that there is no cross-contamination with foods. If you have concerns, please contact Jeffrey Campeau at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our missionaries and staff are also trained in administering Epi-Pens.
When and where do I drop off and pick up my child?
You can drop off your child at the NET Center Events entrance located at 110 Crusader Ave. W, West Saint Paul, MN. The Events entrance is at the far end of the parking lot. Drop-off/Sign-in is at 8:30 am Saturday morning, and pick-up is at 4:00 pm Sunday evening.
Will my child be in a small group with people they don’t know?
Each small group is split between men and women and has about 6-8 youth. We try to ensure that there are at least 2-3 youth from the same parish in each small group.
Can they have their phones on them?
We encourage all youth to leave their phones at home. If they do not, they will be asked to keep it in their dorm room for the duration of the retreat, helping them to fully enter into the environment without the distractions of friends or social media.
Is the building safe and secure?
Yes, our building is locked at all times besides drop-off and pickup. We have staff who regularly walk through the building to make sure all youth are in their session or small group. Additionally, we hire overnight staff to stay up throughout the night to ensure sleep, and dorm safety, as well as being awake and alert if emergencies occur.
Can my child leave early or come late?
Unfortunately, we do not allow youth to come and go throughout the retreat as they will miss important talks and sessions. If there are schedule conflicts, please contact email@example.com to reschedule your weekend or discuss any unique circumstances. We do make exceptions in some cases.
What do they need to bring?
An email regarding information about the retreat is sent out one month, two weeks, and the Monday before the retreat weekend. It will contain all the information you will need to know about the retreat and what to bring. It also contains this list below:
- Sleeping Bag & Pillow
- Toiletries & Towels
- Water bottle
- Casual & gym clothes
- Dress clothes for Sunday Mass
- Journal or notebook (if you want to take notes)
What NOT to bring
- For the safety of anyone with food allergies, we ask that you do not bring any food (chips, candy, soda, etc.)
- Drugs, alcohol, or tobacco (including e-cigarettes)
- Headphones or Airpods
Is there a dress code?
Youth are encouraged to dress casually, comfortably, and appropriately during the retreat. There are a few sessions of recreation time so bringing rec clothes is encouraged. We also ask that you bring “Sunday Best” clothes for Mass on the retreat.
Is there a schedule I can follow?
Yes, the schedule is posted on our confirmation page. (Dropdown above)
How can I follow up with my child after the retreat?
It is so important for parents to be involved in their child’s faith life. We encourage asking your child how they were impacted on retreat. You can ask these prompting questions:
What is something you learned about the Sacrament of Confirmation that you didn’t know before?
How was your experience of adoration, confession, and prayer?
How are you feeling about being confirmed soon?
What new things do you want to implement in your life since the retreat?
Is there anything our family can do to further our faith?
What is the most meaningful thing you got out of the weekend?
Does the retreat make you think differently about the confirmation process and classes you’re taking?
What was it like being in a small group with people your age?