By Austin Greathouse
All those who attended an Ash Wednesday Mass can relate to the Diocesan Retreat Team’s acronym: DiRT.
The team, which reminds participants of their mortality as part of their ministry, has begun working with the two college Catholic student centers in the Diocese of Wichita to assist with their Confirmation retreats.
Fr. John Hay, pastor of the St. Paul Catholic Student Center at Wichita State University, and his student parishioners, as well as Fr. David Voss, pastor of the St. Pius X Catholic Student Center at Pittsburg State University and his parishioners, have been working with the diocesan Office of Faith Formation to host retreats and help those preparing for Confirmation enter into a deeper intimacy with the Lord.
The retreats are designed to spark the faith in college students and youth. The self-lead retreats allow college students to structure the day in a way that is conducive to young Catholic learning, proving love of Jesus can be fun during all stages of life.
Most of the retreats take place at the student centers, showcasing the opportunities that a college Catholic student center has to offer in terms of facilities, and gives insight to the relationships and activities which help keep these students connected to Catholicism after graduation.
The structure of the retreat follows a testimony-based format, where the college students share how the love of Christ has impacted their journey in life. Each high school student is placed into a small group for sharing and to delve deeper into the messages being presented. There are also games and activities, as well as Eucharistic adoration and confession.
The DiRT teams will serve just under 60 percent of all the parishes in the diocese who have students receiving the sacrament this year – just under 500 youth and young adults at about 25 different parishes.
Greathouse is a member of St. Paul Parish in Wichita.

Want help from DiRT?
The cost of a DiRT retreat is $10 per participant, which includes lunch and snacks. Scholarships are available for those unable to pay the fee. For more information, visit the Diocesan Retreat Team page at CatholicDioceseOfWichita.org, or contact Chris Barnard at barnardc@CatholicDioceseOfWichita.org.