Confirmation Retreats

Confirmation Retreats

There were two overnight Confirmation Retreats planned for the 2020/2021 school year by the diocese.  The first planned for October 2020 has been cancelled because the current health situation and outlook for COVID is not as good as we hoped.  We are collecting registrations for the March 2021 retreat.  Please see below for options for those who had registered for the October retreat.

Retreat Information:
Registration preference is given to students who will be confirmed this school year.  The retreat is geared toward 11th and 12th graders who will be confirmed this school year.  Those in 10th grade may register, but may be asked to wait until a future retreat if registration fills up and room is needed for 11th and 12th graders.  Those in 9th grade are not able to register.  Those who live outside of the Diocese of Duluth are not able to register.

Parents and guardians should register their children as all permissions are electronically signed during registration. 

Payment:  PLEASE DO NOT pay in full at registration Please pick the PAYMENT PLAN.  See below for more information.  

Please notify your parish when you register your child so your parish knows for planning a chaperone.

***Students must attend the entire retreat to attend at all - no exceptions.***

2020/2021 Retreat Dates, Locations, and Registration:

Retreat Option 1 of 2:  CANCELLED 9/30/20
Friday, October 23 to Sunday, October 25

Registration deadline: N/A

For those who registered: We can either cancel your registration or transfer your registration to the March 19-21, 2021 Confirmation Retreat.  You will be contacted by e-mail soon.  Your October 16th payment will be cancelled.

Retreat Option 2 of 2:
Friday, March 19 to Sunday, March 21, 2021: Big Sandy Camp
52511 185th Pl, McGregor, MN 55760

Registration deadline: March 5, 2021

Cost: $95 for students and chaperones if registered before the deadline.  The cost increases to $105 after the deadline.  It is possible the retreat could be cancelled due to COVID, so choose the PAYMENT PLAN and DO NOT pay in full during registrationThis guarantees that your payment will not be processed until one week prior to the retreat.  If the March retreat needs to be cancelled, we hope to do so before March 12th to avoid having to refund everyone.  You will enter credit card information during registration and your card will be charged one week prior to the retreat. 

Payment is non-refundable after the registration deadline unless the student is ill, the student has been exposed to someone diagnosed with COVID within 14 days of the retreat, the student is awaiting COVID test results, or the event is cancelled due to COVID.  Students with COVID symptoms should not attend the retreat.

Check-in: Friday 5:20-6:20 p.m. (please check with your parish leader for your parish's check-in time)
Retreat concludes:  Sunday at 12:00 p.m.
Student capacity: 120

REGISTER: Registration opened Monday, September 28, 2020 at 6:00 p.m. REGISTER HERERemember to choose the PAYMENT PLAN and DO NOT pay in full during registration.  You will choose which date of your child's retreat on the registration website.  Please choose the registration with "STUDENT" in the title.  If you have registered using the Active Network system before, you will need your password.  You should be able to recover it if you forgot it.

If you have problems registering or have questions about the retreat, please contact Annette Merritt at [email protected] or 218-724-9111.

CHAPERONES should register at the same link.  Please choose the retreat with "CHAPERONE" in the title.  Registration for chaperones will open at a later date.  Permission is needed for a chaperone to register.  Please contact the Office of Youth & Young Adult Ministry if your parish has not received permission for you.

Parish Check-In List:  Chaperones should bring the list of students and chaperones attending the retreat on the check-in form (coming soon).


Packing List: 

  • A cloth face mask/neck gaiter to cover nose and mouth is mandatory (you may want to bring 2 or more to change when needed)
  • Personal bottle of hand sanitizer (optional, there will be sanitizer provided throughout the weekend)
  • Clothes (2-days' worth, modest please, no holes above the knee)
  • Pajamas
  • Sleeping Bag OR sheets and blanket(s) for a twin bed
  • Pillow
  • Toiletries (body wash/soap, shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrush, deodorant, etc.)
  • Bath Towel
  • Hand towel (optional)
  • Snack to be shared by all (box of crackers, bag of chips, veggies, fruit, etc.)
  • Prescription medications, if needed (to be turned in at registration)
  • Bible and notebook (optional)
  • Limited amount of spending money for extra snacks
  • Tennis shoes (for gym, optional)

Please note: Supper will not be provided on Friday night so please eat before you arrive.  Lunch will not be provided on Sunday, so you may wish to bring money to stop for food on the way home.

Please DO NOT bring:

  • Cell phones, tablets, mp3 players & other electronic distractions.  If driving, leave your cell phone in your car (at your own risk).
  • Drugs, alcohol, tobacco, electronic smoking products, or weapons.  Bringing these items will result in immediate dismissal from the retreat and no refunds will be available.


Why Do Confirmands Need To Have a Retreat?
One requirement for receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation is to go on a Confirmation retreat.  The Diocesan Guidelines for Confirmation state:

"Retreat: During the process of preparing for Confirmation, an overnight retreat or its equivalent is required. An overnight retreat enables the young person to be removed from everyday activities and thus allows him/her to focus fully on the greatness of the Sacrament he/she is preparing to receive. The retreat should be specific to the Sacrament of Confirmation. The Diocese of Duluth provides Confirmation retreats, and each parish is asked to strongly consider participating in these retreats. If you have questions regarding retreats for Confirmation, please contact the Diocesan Pastoral Center."

-Diocesan Guidelines for Catechesis: Sacramental Prep Policies - Page IV-5

For other requirements, please read the document found at the link above starting on Page IV-4.

What are the Options for Confirmation Retreats?
1) Diocesan Confirmation Retreats
- Two are offered throughout the year.
2) Provide your own parish retreat
- Must conform to the Diocesan Guidelines

Chaperone Information:
The parish must provide: One chaperone for every eight (8) retreatants. Chaperones must be 21 or older and be confirmed. They must complete the Diocese of Duluth Online Youth Protection Training which includes a background check and  acknowledgment of the Diocesan Sexual Misconduct Policy.  Go to to log in.

The preference is that the the parish small group leaders/catechists and/or the Director of Religious Education or Youth Minister be present to help lead your parishes' small groups at the retreat.  

The role of the chaperone is vital to the success of the retreat. Therefore, they are required to be present throughout the entire retreat. They will be responsible for the retreatants they bring.  We also ask that the chaperones be willing to assist in the taking care of behind-the-scenes details once they arrive. Duties might include leading a small group, helping in the kitchen, covering patrol duty during the night, and praying for retreatants.

Preparing For The Retreat:

Driving: Each parish is responsible for getting their students to and from the retreat. Friday's dinner is not provided.

Attendance: All retreatants will be expected to attend the entire retreat to fulfill the Diocese of Duluth Confirmation requirements.

What to Bring: Students are to bring sleeping bags, pillows, toiletries, etc. as well as snacks (to be shared by all). Leave cell phones, tablets, etc. at home. Drugs, alcohol, and weapons will not be tolerated and will result in immediate dismissal from the retreat.

Registering For the Retreat:

Parent or guardian must register retreatants on-line at the link provided on this page.

*Cost and Payment:
$95 per student and chaperone before registration deadline
$105 per student after registration deadline

Individuals may pay online.  Parishes may request coupon codes if they prefer to collect money for the retreat.  If parishes collect money, the chaperone/parish representative should bring one check payable to the Diocese of Duluth from your parish for the total amount due for all retreatants.

A Note To Youth Ministers and DREs:

Retreats are a great opportunity for building relationships with your youth. If you have a youth attending a retreat, we expect you'll make the most of this opportunity and be willing to serve as a small group leader or chaperone.

Duc in Altum,

"You cannot be half a saint. You must be a whole saint or no saint at all."
-Saint Therese of Lisieux

Father Michael Schmitz

Heather Serena
[email protected]

Annette Merritt
[email protected]

Diocese of Duluth
Youth/Young Adults
2830 E. 4th Street
Duluth, MN 55812
Fax: 218-724-1056


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