More than 600 participate in NET retreats

Dynamic, Parish-based encounters for middle and high school teens took place between Feb. 3 and Feb. 11, 2024, throughout the Diocese of Venice.

The NET Ministries (National Evangelization Teams) retreats, visiting seven Parish and one Diocesan Catholic school between Feb. 3 and Feb. 11, 2024, challenged young Catholics, through relational ministry, to hear about, respond to and live for Jesus Christ.

“An absolutely beautiful evening with our Lord!” St. Michael Parish in Wauchula posted to social media. “NET Ministries you did awesome. Keep praying for our youth! Keep giving them opportunities or they will never experience His Love or get to know Him. May God bless all of our youth all over the world.”

The Diocesan Office of Evangelization sponsored the retreats which cumulatively reached more than 600 middle and high school students. The goal was to inspire young people to form personal and profound relationships with Jesus Christ and His Church.

The theme of the retreats in early February was “True Presence,” building upon the ongoing National Eucharistic Revival. The Revival is an initiative of the U.S. Bishops to encourage a greater passion for the Most Holy Eucharist, the Source and Summit of the Catholic Faith. Most of the retreats included the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, and when that was not possible due to time constraints, there was Eucharistic Adoration.

The Diocesan retreats took place at the following locations, St. Thomas More, Sarasota; St. Catherine, Sebring; St. Joseph the Worker, Moore Haven; St. Michael, Wauchula; Our Lady of Light, Fort Myers; St. Paul, Arcadia; St. Agnes, Naples; and St. Joseph Catholic School, Bradenton. Several Parishes took the opportunity to use the NET visit as a Confirmation Retreat for youth.

The retreats included guided prayer time and a personal invitation to commit to Christ, as the NET members shared the message of God’s unending love for the youth. This was accomplished in small group discussions, games and activities, and live testimony presentations.