Luke EighTEEN is Also for TEENS


Jessica Bodmer, Staff Writer

As the end of the year approaches, eighth graders are preparing for their confirmation retreats, and high school students are preparing to volunteer at them.

Three years ago, I attended Luke 18 with a skeptical and anxious attitude. I didn’t know what to expect and dreaded the mysterious weekend.

The retreat consisted of entertaining games, small group talks and adoration. Going to school with students for nine years makes you think you know them pretty well. Even so, the group talks and adoration opened my eyes. People open up and share their concerns and problems that never reached the surface of their social life. In adoration, almost everyone cries for his or her own reasons. No one really knows exactly why the others are emotional, but it moved me seeing people be able to open themselves up to God without fear of being judged or ridiculed.

As the confirmation retreat ended, it brought me closer to classmates who I thought I would never be friends with and to people who I thought I couldn’t know more about. Talking to volunteers and other peers about my faith allowed me to feel ready for Confirmation, and I lived through the next few months with excitement to receive the sacrament.

A year passed, I received Confirmation and I took on high school. Then that time of the year came around again and I volunteered at Luke 18. I knew what was going to take place at the retreat, but I didn’t know what I was going to do as a volunteer.

Being apart of the retreat multiple times has allowed me to see firsthand how the retreat itself has grown over the years. I noticed the different talks, schedules and activities that have been added in to make the experience even better for the eighth graders. Working on the other side of the curtain gave me the opportunity to see the hard work and effort it takes to create Luke 18. Watching students grow closer to God day by day and being a reason why is one of the best experiences. It feels crazy knowing that was me not too long ago.

Being able to make Luke 18 as great for other students as it was to me feels so special. A piece of advice for anyone who is planning on going or volunteering at a retreat—make the most out of the experience as possible. The memories and relationships can last a long time and bring some needed fullness into your life.