On Saturday, July 1, Confirmation candidates of St Joseph, Tobago were subject to a “class lock-in,” for their final retreat before Confirmation.
Catechists, Deacon Hilary Bengochea along with other guest speakers guided the candidates as they participated in mini seminars on a range of issues including sexuality, drug abuse, and marriage.
Guest speaker Richard McFarlene conducted a meditative session themed: Healing of Memories. The candidates were called to reflect on their lives, from birth to present age, while concentrating on the presence of Jesus in their life situations.
The reflection stirred emotional outbursts from candidates as they were guided to heal their childhood wounds and understand the importance of facing their traumas. One candidate observed, “It made you heal things that you didn’t know were broken in the first place.”
Deacon Hilary and his wife Sandee conducted sessions titled ‘Naked Without Shame’ and ‘Matrimony’. During these talks, the deacon and his wife had a conversation with the candidates about sexuality and marriage from a Catholic perspective. They encouraged the candidates to find their identity in Christ.
The couple who has been married for 45 years gave testimony and explained that the five foundations of matrimony are getting to know each other, friendship, getting to know the family, engagement, and marriage.
The final sessions were done by Dr Brigid Edmund Benoit on ‘Sexuality’, and Jerome Alexander on ‘Pornography’. Topics such as contraceptive and drug abuse were explored. The candidates were asked to do a two-minute presentation on the side effects of different drugs.