At NET Ministries, we challenge young Catholics, through relational ministry, to follow Christ and embrace a life of community in the Church. That’s why, working alongside youth ministers, parishes, and schools, NET’s dynamic evangelistic retreats help young people encounter the person of Christ.

Why schedule a net retreat?

NET Retreat Teams use peer-to-peer ministry to bring God's love to retreatants. NET Retreats include large group presentations, small group discussions, sharing personal testimonies, and prayer with each young person. By scheduling a NET Retreat, you create an opportunity for your young people to encounter Christ and make the faith their own.

Retreat themes

Choose Joy | True Happiness

God created us to live a life of happiness, but often we choose instant gratification over authentic joy. With the free-will God has given to every person, we can choose to accept God’s love, or we can choose to reject it. Even though the world suggests that we can be happy without God, we know it is only by freely accepting God’s will for our lives that we can find authentic joy that will last forever.

True Presence | The Eucharist

Is Jesus Christ truly present in the Eucharist, and if so, how does that change our lives? The life of Blessed Carlo Acutis, a teenager who is on his way to becoming a canonized saint, answers those questions by showing us that we don’t need to be very old to recognize the beauty and utmost importance of the Eucharist.

Never Alone | Confirmation

At confirmation, Christ seals us with the gifts of the Holy Spirit so that we can be better equipped to spread the gospel like the Apostles were at Pentecost. But it’s not enough to just receive these gifts–we have to accept them and choose to use them in our day-to-day lives.

Free Indeed | Identity in Christ

Sin separates us from God’s love, distorting our understanding of our identity as His beloved children. Through our baptism and by the Holy Spirit dwelling in us, we are freed from our slavery to sin. This gives us the freedom to know, love, and serve God in this life and to remain with Him forever in Heaven.

Known | Prayer

Sin separates us from God’s love, distorting our understanding of our identity as His beloved children. Through our baptism and by the Holy Spirit dwelling in us, we are freed from our slavery to sin. This gives us the freedom to know, love, and serve God in this life and to remain with Him forever in Heaven.

NET Retreats are designed for students in grades 7-12. The NET Team will travel to a location of your choice to conduct the retreat.

NET Retreats are conducted from September to May and aim to provide momentum for events in the existing programs present in the parishes and Catholic schools hosting the team.

Discipleship Resources

We’re serious about supporting your ministry in an effort to fulfill Jesus’ command for us to “make disciples of all nations.” And so, when you book a 2024-25 NET Retreat, you’ll receive access to The Disciple Maker Starter Pack which includes a robust selection of digital content from our discipleship resource toolbox, YDisciple.

Light Disciple Maker Starter Pack

Frequently asked questions

NET Retreats are designed for students in grades 7-12. The NET Team will travel to a location of your choice to conduct the retreat. Retreat teams aim to provide momentum for events in the existing programs present in the parishes and Catholic schools hosting the team.

NET Retreats are conducted from September to May and can range from four hours to two days.

The ideal size of retreat is 60 youth and and absolute maximum is 80 youth.

If your group has less than 20 youth, you may want to consider inviting youth from a neighboring parish to join your retreat.

If your group has more than 80 youth, you must schedule multiple retreat days and divide your group accordingly - by grade, gender, etc. 

 

The ideal length for a NET Retreat is 6 hours. We recommend a one-day retreat to be at least 4 hours and no longer than 8 hours. If you would like a retreat longer than 8 hours, we suggest an overnight retreat. You decide the times of meals, Mass, Reconciliation, and/or Adoration on retreat; the team will build the retreat schedule around those times.

  • Trained NET Missionaries
  • Setup and cleanup
  • Large group presentations
  • Small group discussions
  • Games, both general and Gospel-based
  • Dramas
  • Music
  • Guided prayer time
  • Men’s and women’s sessions*
  • Prayer labs*
  • Recreational time*
  • Confession/Adoration/Mass*

*Varies based on length of the retreat and priest availability

NET Catalyst events are meant to be repeat events that allow the same team to come back 4 to 8 times throughout the school year. NET Catalyst allows NET Missionaries to form relationships, keep youth accountable, and encourage them to follow Christ through regular interactions.

NET Catalyst runs on a three-year cycle with the overarching themes of:

Year 1 | Living for Christ
Year 2 | Be Christ's Disciple
Year 3 | God's Care for You

If you want to learn more or are interested in scheduling NET Catalyst events, please contact your scheduling representative or fill out the general interest form below.

“This is a really wonderful group of young people whose genuine love of the Lord and others was amazing to see!”

Shelly, Director of Religious Education, Newburg, OR

“Collaborating with [the NET Team] was exactly what we were hoping for. The team shared their enthusiasm for Jesus in the Eucharist, and for life, in an uplifting, interactive, and engaging manner… The NET Team shared their love of the Catholic faith, while also quickly creating relationships with our students that allowed them to journey spiritually together in a short amount of time.”

Will, Principal, Los Angeles, CA

“Our students had a FANTASTIC time, and we could not have asked for a better experience. It was fun, it allowed for connection, it allowed time for prayer, it prioritized the sacraments, it had a good amount of breaks and silliness...all of the things the students needed to have a great retreat.”

Jennifer, Coordinator of Parish Evangelization, Dixon, IL

All NET Retreat presentations are based on the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church and are drawn from Sacred Scriptures, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and the writings of the saints. They are developed by our professional NET Staff, then go through a rigorous review process by Pete Burds, Vice President of Mission, and Fr. Brian Park, NET’s Chaplin. NET Missionaries learn these presentations and add their own personal sharing or testimony to reinforce the main theme. For any questions about NET’s presentations or their development, email ministry@netusa.org.

NET Ministries will recruit, screen, and train missionaries ages 18-28 and will provide ongoing supervision of team life and individual missionaries via NET’s team supervision process. 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 originally created by the National Catholic Conference of Bishops (now USCCB) in June 2002. Per these recommendations, all of our missionaries go through an intense, comprehensive training process to ensure their suitability for work with youth prior to their conducting any ministry with youth. A more comprehensive explanation is available if needed by contacting NET’s Human Resources Director/Safe Environment Officer at ministry@netusa.org

NET’s screening process is in compliance with the requirements set by the Archdiocese of St. Paul/Minneapolis, where NET is headquartered, and the Archdioceses of Los Angeles & Cincinnati where NET’s Regional Mission Hubs are located. However, NET Ministries, Inc. takes full responsibility for the work, ministry, and actions of its employees, NET Missionaries, and any other volunteers. NET carries an insurance policy of over one million dollars to cover any necessary claims, should they arise.

ALL NET MISSIONARIES

  1. Are at least 18 years of age.
  2. Are required to provide several references who can testify to their suitability as a missionary. 
  3. Are required to submit a letter from their pastor stating they are in good standing with the Catholic Church.
  4. Undergo a criminal background check conducted by The McDowell Agency, specialized to accommodate their age. This includes, but is not limited to, a search on the National Sex Offenders Database and the USA Criminal Index (which is similar to fingerprinting) but does NOT include fingerprinting.
  5. Are trained and certified in safe environments through the “VIRTUS – Protecting God’s Children” course by the National Catholic Risk Retention Group, Inc. 
  6. Are required to successfully complete NET’s five-week training process, which is conducted prior to and during their ministry year. During this training, they 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; and guidelines for ensuring their own personal safety.
  7. Acknowledge annually, by their signature, that they have received, understood, and intend to conduct themselves in accordance with NET Ministries’ Personal Code of Conduct. This policy is reviewed and updated annually.
  8. Continue to receive ongoing training and supervision by NET Staff once they are in active ministry with NET, which includes weekly contact and quarterly on-site visits.

Personnel records, including the above-mentioned paperwork, are kept on each individual missionary at the NET Center and are available upon request, ministry@netusa.org.

TRAINING

The training of the NET Missionaries begins each year in August. Prior to this, each missionary has gone through an extensive screening and interviewing process (see above). Training lasts for five weeks, and covers these primary components: Christian Character, Team Relationships, Content of Evangelization, Skill Development, and Nurturing Catholic Life.

You and your youth are important partners in NET’s future. Underwritten by a generous donor, our NET Recruiting Referral Program serves as a thank-you for your partnership and support of our mission. If you extend an invitation to, or recommend, a young adult to serve with NET and he or she serves as a missionary for the 2024-2025 year, NET will give you $200 to use in one of four ways:

▶ To go towards your ministry

▶ To go towards a future NET Retreat

▶ To go towards a YDisciple subscription

▶ To go towards that missionary’s support funds

To participate in our Recruiting Referral Program, simply go to netusa.org/referral to recommend a young adult to our Recruiting Department, and we will walk with them through the application process. But even more importantly, please personally invite the young adults in your life to apply to become a NET Missionary. Just as Jesus called his disciples by name, a personal invitation makes all the difference.

Step 1

Fill out the form below to get in contact with our Scheduling Team. If you are already in contact with a member of our Scheduling Team, you can reach out to them directly to request a list of available retreat dates.

Step 2

Someone from our Scheduling Team will reach out to you with available retreat dates and will help you book your retreat from there!

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