The Dunkeld Youth Service hosted their annual Advent Retreat on 7th-8th December 2019. After a short hiatus, they were able to offer the Pastoral Centre for overnight accommodation once more. This proved to be very popular, and the teens who attended the retreat felt that it enabled them to better explore the themes and get to know their peers.
The retreat, facilitated by the Youth Commission with support from Youth Director Canon Tom Shields, targeted the age group of 14-19, and used the time to explore the theme “Are You Ready?”. Through several educational sessions, the teens learned what it means to be ready for something, looking at some of the familiar characters from the Bible who waited and prepared for the coming of Christ. There were also lots of physical and practical activities, from team games and races to flashcards, posters and small group discussions. On the Saturday evening, the group gathered in the Chapel for a time of Adoration, Benediction and Confession, supplemented with live music provided by Mrs Misia Paul and Charis McCrosson. Following this, a vigil Mass was held for the second Sunday of Advent, where the teens took part in the readings and offertory procession, including their own bidding prayers which were written during an activity earlier in the day. The evening was then left to fun and games, with an intense game of Monopoly and a viewing of the movie “Nativity”.
On the Sunday the group was joined by guests from a Clydebank youth group, who have connected with the Dunkeld Youth through their participation in the Life Teen Europe Summer Camp over the past few years. They were able to provide a short live worship session to begin the day, followed by the final session which introduced the idea of ‘discipleship’ and contained a short introduction to Lectio Divina, looking at the passage where Peter walks on the water.
Throughout the retreat, the group was well catered for by the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, who provided a delicious feast for every meal. The Youth Service would like to extend heartfelt thanks to the Sisters and staff at the centre, as well as to Misia Paul and her husband John for the beautiful music, to the members of the Youth Commission who facilitated the weekend (Joe Curran, Lauren Quinn, Joseph Soares and Charis McCrosson), to Fr Tom for supporting the group, to all the teens who participated and their parents for making it possible for them to attend. Thanks also to photographers Eddie Mahoney and Aleksandra Molon for attending through the day and capturing some of the fun!