Have you ever wondered what messages TV commercials and shows are giving to our young teens? Just watch a few TV ads or shows while pondering how seeing and hearing them over and over might influence a not-yet-mature mind. Some of us at St. Michael's feel that it is time for us to find ways to counteract the subtle, life-directing messages our teens are receiving from so many media sources.
One such measure is the sixth grader's "To Be Me" Retreat that was piloted last year by Sister Loretta, Sister Joan Gavron, RSM, parishioner Kathy Caprio and several parishioners and parents. The retreat's purpose was to give the attending teens an opportunity to talk about the very adult content to which they are exposed in the media, music, movies, television and the internet, for instance, how they are interpreting these messages and how what they hear enters into the decisions they make.
From the pilot retreat, we learned that the boys and girls liked having an opportunity to look at these realities and talk about what they see and feel, what they like, don’t like and what they understand and don’t understand. Overall, they found the retreat helpful. Thus, we are offering it again this year and opening it to 6th and 7th graders.
Because timing was the major stumbling block for attendance, we revised the retreat program so that it can fit into two two-hour sessions. These can be offered on two week nights or on one Saturday or Sunday. We have not scheduled any dates and are asking those parents who want their 6th and 7th graders to attend to suggest dates and times that work for them.
Below is a list of the materials we will be using. If you want your 6th or 7th grade child to attend this year’s retreat or if you want more information, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. And if you think this is a good program for your grandchild or other children you know, please encourage their parents to consider sending their children.
“To Be Me” Retreat Materials
- Dynamic Catholic’s Confirmation Program - portions of Sessions 1-4 (Videos and workbook online at http://dynamiccatholic.com/confirmation/view-program/.)
- My Choices Matter; my life is in my hands; I have help from God, parents and real friends.
- The Best Way to Live: Best version of yourself; Virtue; Self-control [freedom vs. slavery]
- Modern Culture’s Nightmare vs. God’s Dream for You
- What’s Holding You Back; Pleasure and Happiness; Hungry for the Truth.
- Attitudes needed: The Ten Commandments
- The Problem: Sin makes us unhappy; The Solution: Follow Jesus
- Be Radical – like Jesus
- Second Chances; Self-destructive Behaviors; Reconciliation
- Pray - Nurture Your Spiritual Self; Personal Prayer; Practice
- Ascension Press’ Theology of the Body-Middle School Workbook (http://thetheologyofthebody.com/information/teens) We are only using the workbook material of Lessons 3 and Lesson 6
- Body Language
- The opposite of loving a person is using a person for one’s own purposes.
- Ascension Press’ Chosen http://evangelization.com/preview/program/chosen-your-journey-toward-confirmation?context=browse
- Why Wait: Love vs. Lust
- Five Disciplines of Disciples (Committed Followers) of Jesus