Confirmation Retreats

Confirmation Retreats

There were two overnight Confirmation Retreats offered during the 2019-2020 school year by the diocese.  

***March Retreat:  In light of the current situation with COVID-19, we followed suit with all of the precautions being taken across the diocese and cancelled the Confirmation Retreat scheduled for March 27-29.***

We have contacted all those who registered with information on refunds.  If you did not see the e-mail, please check your junk mail for an e-mail from Annette Merritt.  If you do not find it, please e-mail her at [email protected]  Refunds are currently being processed one family at a time.  If you would like your fee kept for a future event, please e-mail Annette.  Thank you for your patience!

Please pray for all inflicted with and affected by the coronavirus.  God bless you and your families.

Retreat Information:

Registration preference is given to students who will be confirmed this school year or the fall of 2020.  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 is 9th grade are not able to register.  Those who live outside of the Diocese of Duluth are not able to register.

Please note: Parents and guardians should register their children as all permissions are electronically signed during registration.  Please notify your parish when you register your child.  Some parish Directors of Religious Education and Youth Ministers choose to register their group by using paper permission forms instead of having parents register their children online.  Payment is collected at the time of registration.  You can either pay only the $50 deposit or the full amount ($95 or $105 depending on date).  Automatic payment plans are available for future payment.

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

2019-2020 Retreat Dates, Locations, and Registration:

Retreat Option 1 of 2:

Friday, October 18 to Sunday, October 20*:
 Trout Lake Camp, Pine River
10173 Trout Lake Drive, Pine River, MN 56474

Registration deadline: Friday, October 4
Cost: $95 for students and chaperones before registration deadline.  $105 after deadline.  The $50 deposit is non-refundable, but can be transferred before October 4 (by the Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministry) to the March 2020 retreat if necessary.  No refunds after the deadline.
Check-in: Friday 5:45-6:20 p.m.; Retreat concludes at 11:00 a.m. on Sunday

Student capacity: 200

All registrants were e-mailed on 10/17/19.  If you did not receive an e-mail, please check your junk mail; then e-mail Heather at [email protected] 

Retreat Option 2 of 2:

Friday, March 27 to Sunday, March 29: Big Sandy Camp, McGregor ***CANCELLED***
52511 185th Pl, McGregor, MN 55760

Registration deadline: Friday, March 13
Cost: $95 for students and chaperones before registration deadline.  $105 after deadline.  The $50 deposit is non-refundable, but can be transferred (by the Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministry) to the October 2019 before October 4th if necessary.  No refunds after the deadline.
Check-in: Friday 5:45-6:20 p.m.; Retreat concludes at 12:00 p.m. on Sunday.
Student capacity: 200

REGISTER: Registration opened HERE on August 29th at 11:00 AM.  You will choose which date of your retreat on the Active Network website.  Please choose the registration with STUDENT in the title.
If you have problems registering or have questions about the retreat, please contact Annette Merritt at 218-724-9111 or [email protected].

*Please note date change since original date announcement at the May Youth Minister Meeting.

CHAPERONES may also register HERE.  Please choose the retreats with CHAPERONE in the title.  Registration for chaperones will open at a later date.  Permission is needed 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 this form.


Packing List: 

  • 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 (soap, shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrush, deodorant, etc.)
  • Bath Towel
  • Snack to be shared by all (crackers, 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:

BEFORE the registration date:
Please register retreatants on-line at the link provided on this page.

*Cost and Payment:
$95 - per student and chapeorne before registration deadline
$105 per student and chaperone 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, please 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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