Upper Room Retreat

Retreat Information

The Upper Room is a parish based retreat for youth or adults that offers an opportunity for participants to encounter Jesus Christ, drop their nets, and follow Him as a disciple. This could be set up to follow several weeks of street evangelization where you invite the community to come and experience more of Jesus.

The theme of the retreat, “The Upper Room,” takes the call to discipleship seriously while recognizing that it is an encounter with Jesus in the power of the Spirit that can set hearts on fire. Retreat speaker provides powerful testimonies, insights into Scripture, and humor to witness God’s goodness. Optional activities are chosen based on the audience and can include group discussions, ice-breakers, free time activates, silent reflection, Eucharistic adoration, Mass, Reconciliation, and dynamic prayer experiences. The retreat focuses on inviting participants to experience a deeper love of Christ and the Church by replicating elements found in the conversion stories narrated in scripture (cf. Acts 2:14-41, Acts 10:34-48) ) and throughout the History of Church. These factors include;

  • A clear and relevant presentation of the kerygma – the basic gospel message
  • A deliberate effort to witness to the freedom, joy, and adventure of Christian discipleship
  • An invitation to respond to the grace given already in the sacraments
  • An opportunity to make a commitment of faith, renew their identity as a son or daughter of God, and participate more fully in the life and mission of the Catholic Church, that draws from, and leads back to, the Holy Eucharist, the “source and summit of the faith.”

The retreat can be adapted to accommodate a one day event or an overnight retreat experience. A youth and young adult version of the retreat is available as well.

Schedule & Topics

Morning

  1. The Father’s love (50 mins + optional activities)
    1. Goals:
      1. To help retreat participants gain a better understanding of the reality of God’s fatherly love.
      2. To encourage retreat participants to be open to God’s word and work in their life at this retreat.
      3. Ground the talk in witness, humor, and joy
    2. Optional Activity:
      1. The Crazy Dream, Reflection Questions for personal or small group, reflection song/video, local personal testimony
  2. Saved By The Son (50 mins + optional activities)
    1. Goals:
      1. To help retreat participants gain a deeper appreciation of who Jesus Christ really is.
      2. To help retreat participants better grasp the magnitude of what Christ did and what he was able to accomplish for us: eternal life.
      3. To challenge retreat participants to respond to Christ’s invitation to enter into a personal relationship with him.
      4. Ground the talk in wonder, the unexpected and beautiful scandal of the person of Jesus Christ, and a reminder about our “first love”
    2. Optional Activity:
      1. The Most Influential Character In History, Reflection Questions for personal or small group, reflection song/video, local personal testimony

Afternoon

  1. Life in the Spirit (50 mins + time for Examination and/or Confession)
    1. Goals
      1. To give retreat participant a greater understanding of the new life in the that Christ gives us
      2. To help the participants respond to the life Christ offers in a spirit of repentance and to make an act faith
      3. Ground the talk in the necessity of the Holy Spirit to bring to life the very truths that we’ve been talking about this morning. T
    2. Optional Activity:
      1. Chocolate Milk, personal testimony to God’s mercy, repentance and experiencing God’s mercy,
      2. This is a great time that can lead into an examination of conscience and an opportunity for the Sacrament of Confession
  2. Commitment to Christ (50 mins + 60 mins for Mass or Holy Hour)
    1. Goals
      1. To help participants realize that the new life Christ offers is possible – by the power of the Holy Spirit.
      2. To give retreat participant the opportunity to and lead them in making a conscious commitment / recommitment to Christ
      3. Ground the talk in the reality that now, God calls us to “drop our nets” and follow him. This isn’t just will power, but we must cooperate with the Holy Spirit’s work to not only bring us to life, but help us live a new life.
    2. Optional Activity:
      1. Eucharistic Adoration or Holy Mass, witness
      2. During Adoration, we will invite those who make a new commitment to Christ to make a small act of faith. Participants will be asked to either write out a prayer, commitment to Christ, and be asked to bring that commitment to Christ in the Blessed Sacrament. They can come forward during Adoration and kneel, pray, and leave their “commitment card” in a basket. Other versions of a public act of faith can be substituted, but it is essential. Music – either praise and worship or reflective would be awesome.

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