Under this category you will find the latest information on upcoming retreats offered through Saint Thomas as well as conferences offered both within the Diocese of Joliet and also throughout the country.
What retreats are offered through St. Thomas?
We have two retreat programs currently at St. Thomas:
- Journey Retreat (one-day experience for Freshmen)
- LIFE Retreat (weekend retreat starting on a Friday evening and ending Sunday afternoon)
Journey Retreat: This retreat is required for incoming Freshmen. It is held off site at a specific retreat site each year. It is a day-long program that focuses on team building, community, and helping them have a positive, high-energy start to their year and their High School Faith Formation. More information can be found by visiting the Freshmen retreat page — Freshmen Retreat
LIFE Retreat: This retreat is required as part of the Confirmation process and is also optional for any teen or friend of a Saint Thomas teen who would like to attend. These retreats are peer run and all held on location at Saint Thomas for the time being. More information on this program can be found by visiting the retreat’s page — Life Retreat
Why do we do retreats and why is it worth the money? That’s a good question to ask. Retreats bring the teens out of their everyday and ordinary. The teen needs to have quiet, down time to reflect on their life, where they are headed, and discern God’s vision and purpose for their lives! Retreats are one of the most common and dependable youth ministry structures out there! They are consistently rated highly by the teens and their impact is profound given the short period of time. Hence the financial commitment may also be significant, but you certainly get what you pay for!
What conferences are promoted through St. Thomas?
There are two conferences currently being promoted to St. Thomas teens:
- YLC (Youth Leadership Conference)
- NCYC (National Catholic Youth Conference)
National Catholic Youth Conference: The National Catholic Youth Conference is an exciting, biennial three-day experience of prayer, community, and empowerment for Catholic teenagers and their adult chaperones. The schedule includes keynote addresses, concurrent and workshop sessions addressing a wide variety of topics. There are also opportunities for liturgy, reconciliation, prayer and worship, recreation and special activities such as concerts, exhibits, and the interactive thematic park.
Youth Leadership Conference: The Youth Leadership Conference is a three day, two night conference that empowers our young church (incoming high school freshmen through graduating seniors). The conference happens annually and is held at Lewis University in Romeoville, IL.
The goals of YLC are:
- To provide opportunities for faith-filled personal and spiritual growth in all participants.
- To provide leadership training opportunities for teens in the larger church.
- To empower our young church to live and share their faith as Catholic-Christians.
- To incorporate and reveal our Catholic Identity to the young church.