Antioch Retreat Team Information
What is Antioch?
The Antioch Retreat was created back in the 1970s when there was a revitalization in the Church. In the Grand Rapids area it started at Holy Family in Caledonia and spread to many parishes, including St Jude.
There is a manual that goes along with the weekend, but as time has gone on and the retreat has grown and changed we typically just use the basic skeleton of the schedule and the types of talks that have been used.
At some of the churches that run the retreat, it is open to high school through college students to attend. At St Jude, however, it is traditionally just open to high school students.
Once the students go on the retreat, they are allowed to then be on team. Many students choose to still attend the weekend for a few more retreats, though.
Why is it called Antioch?
Because that is the place where they were first called Christians. Feel free to throw that fact around at parties.
What is the time frame?
The students are there from 7:30PM on Friday to 2:30PM on Sunday.
The team is there starting at 5PM on Friday.
What does the weekend schedule include?
It rotates between leader-given talks, discussion groups, skits, games, and meals. There isn’t much time to be bored!
What should team wear?
Comfort is best. PJ pants and sweats are encouraged. Please dress appropriately for working with youth. Anyone dressed inappropriately will be asked to change.
On the Friday of the retreat the team are asked to wear the previous retreat’s shirt. If you do not have one, Sue can give you one of the extras. It is not the end of the world if you don’t wear it, though.
What talks are given?
We have talks that cover what God is calling to us in our lives, prayer, building a community of faith, Reconciliation, being created in God’s image, sex/marriage/chastity, God’s sacrifice, the Eucharist, and commitment to the faith.
These talks are given by team leaders and are distributed roughly a month before.
What sacraments are offered?
We will all attend Mass and the candidates are offered a chance to go to Reconciliation.
Please go before the weekend if you need to seek that sacrament.
What is expected of a speaker?
To give a 15-20 minute talk.
To provide Sue with a Youtube video of a song to be played before your talk. It does not have to be related. It is simply to get the kids prepared and give team a chance to pray over the speaker.
To bring a nice outfit to change into for your talk.
What do I need to know about being a table leader?
You will lead with 1-2 other team leaders. This gives wiggle room if 1 leader has to step out at any time.
You will have 3-5 candidates at your table.
Discussion questions are given following each talk. You do not have to stick strictly to them, but they are there to merely guide conversation.
Although it may be helpful in the beginning for a table leader to start off discussion, candidates should be encouraged to do the bulk of the talking.
You do not want to push a student too far, but don’t hesitate to ask someone to speak if they are quiet.
Silence is not a bad thing! Ask a question once or twice. Someone will eventually speak up to stop the awkwardness : )
Stay with your table when necessary. Please do not wander off or stay behind when your table is supposed to go somewhere.
Do team leaders need to be perfect, sinless Catholics?
Would we have any team if they did?
Team leaders are expect to be people that are living their lives with the goal of loving the Lord.
The most important thing is that we stick to Church teaching.
If you have a question on what the Church teaches – that is OK! It is good for the kids to see that you don’t have all of the answers. Feel free to call one of the youth ministers over to the table to check with them. Or let them know you will check into and get back to them.
What are the roles for team?
Table leaders, back-up, kitchen, and the Teen Director.
What do I need to bring on the weekend?
Anything you would bring to a typical sleepover.
Refillable water bottle.
Sleeping bags, pillows, blankets.
You may bring air mattresses.
Rosaries and Bibles are also great – but not required.
Does Antioch speak another language?
Maybe! Here are some translations you may need…
Team – anyone on… team…
Candidate – anyone attending the retreat
Pilanka – a note that you write to the kids attending the retreat. This can be a generic note that you add something personal to for the kids at the table groups. These will be given to the kids on Saturday night in a bag. Ideally, they will also get notes from their parents/family. If you have questions about this, check with Sue.
Skit – a short play, if you will, that is done at each meal time
Theme song – we have a song that presents a theme for each weekend.
Zilch – the meditation we do on Friday night. This is replaced with a brief time for Eucharistic Adoration during this retreat.
Nice Person – random notes we send to another person on the team throughout the weekend. Everyone picks a name at the beginning of the weekend.
One on One – You go off 2x during the weekend with someone of the same sex from your table. You pick them. Make sure everyone from your table has someone. Girl leaders may need to take 2.
Saturday Night – We will have Eucharistic Adoration, praise and worship, and a chance to get prayed over. Team are asked not to go up to get prayed over. This is for the candidates. If you really need prayers, please ask another team leader to pray with you – outside of the prayer group.
Team Chapel – a classroom you are assigned to go to for different times during the weekend.
Poster Sharing – Your team will prepare a funny skit to perform in a contest against the other groups. It has to include the theme and all of your table group members. You will get a poster to create props and may use stuff from your table.
Strength Bombardment – On Sunday you will go with your team and sit in a circle in your chapel. One candidate sits in the center and everyone takes a turn to compliment them. The candidate can only say “Thank you.” Team can go, too, if time allows.
Group Swap – Everyone will move to a new table and answer a random, fun question about themselves. This is to give the kids a chance to meet others outside of their table group.
Line Game – We will do this a little differently than you may have before. Everyone will make a very large circle, facing out. We will read a statement and if you relate to that you will put a colored stone on a small plate in front of you. This will be done to change the mood over from silly at dinner to more serious as the night goes on. We will then have them all put into a large glass container. That will then later be put at the foot of the cross.
Burdens – The kids will be given a piece of paper on Saturday night to write some of their burdens down that has been weighing on them. They will then stick them on the thorns of a crown at the foot of the cross.
What is the deal with the table colors?
Each table has a color which helps us when getting everyone to different places during the weekend. (“Purple table go to “x” room now.”)
The other thing we do to make it fun is decorate the table with stuff that is that color.
I have plenty of stuff available if you do not want to buy anything.
The big thing is usually food.
Please do not bring the following: glitter, noisy things (they are distracting), colored pop (unless you bring dollar store sippy cups), anything that will mess the heck out of the carpet.
Sue likes: Pringles, Oreos, licorice (not black licorice – She’s not a sociopath)
What will happen when I get there on Friday night?
Go to the Brophy Center entrance and we will be up the stairs.
5-5:30PM Set up tables
5:30-5:50ish Eat dinner
6:30-7:30 Groups will be formed to practice skits, make up motions for the theme song, and set up the registration table
7:30 The kids are there – AHHHHH!
Where will everyone sleep?
The girl leaders sleep in the library. The girl candidates sleep in the youth room.
The guys all sleep in an eventually smelly area on the other side of the school.
What is the golden rule of Antioch?
“If it will get Sue in trouble on Monday… don’t do it.”
Please be respectful of the property and don’t do something dumb that will get me in trouble.
If you have any questions after reading this… EMAIL SUE : )