During the 2024 winter holidays, the Province of the Immaculate Mother of God in Poland (Warsaw) hosted a retreat for children and youth at the friary in Niepokalanów Lasek, Poland.
Friar Grzegorz Maria ŚWIERKOSZ led the retreat, which was attended by about two hundred children and youth between the ages of seven and seventeen. The reflections during the retreat were based on the theme: “I Am Not Alone – Mary Guides Me.” The main patroness of the retreat was the Mother of God, under various titles. The focal point of each day was the Mass, as well as the homily, which referred to one of the titles of Our Lady chosen for that day.
Another important moment of each day was the exposition of the Blessed Sacrament with a meditation on the Word of God, always centered on the Mother of God. The Guardian, Friar Grzegorz Maria SZYMANIK, led the meditations.
The children and youth were each given the task of “creating little flowers” in the form of good deeds offered to Our Lady.
There was also time for group meetings, where the participants learned the meaning of the word “empathy” and explored Marian apparitions in various countries, presenting them in the form of pictures.
There was also time for recreation during the retreat; the children and youth had a lot of fun walking to the shrine in Niepokalanów, seeing a historical presentation entitled “The Millennium Panorama,” and visiting the Chapel of Perpetual Adoration and the St. Maximilian Museum. One of the highlights was a trip to the Warsaw Sports and Games Hall.
At the end of the retreat, each participant received a small gift in the form of a statuette of Our Lady and some candy.
The retreat ended with Mass, with the parents in attendance, during which the participants enrolled in the Militia of the Immaculata (M.I.).
The children and youth left Niepokalanów Lasek feeling happy, hopeful and looking forward to the next meeting.
Sister Teresa Maria GRABOŃ, SFMI