Our Junior Class Retreat was a day of community and focus on our Catholic faith.  We began with mass at the Cathedral, where Father Jeff Starkovich celebrated and gave a moving homily that challenged students to pattern themselves after Christ in loving others more than love of self.  Junior Allie McCall especially was moved by the mass experience and had the following to say, “Junior retreat was very eye opening.  I learned a lot about myself and God.”  Students then were brought to Dry Creek Baptist Camp to break open the theme and begin their day of activities which ranged from shelter building to sharing our struggles with one another to patterning our lives after those who embody holiness. 

Sirach 6:14 states “Faithful friends are a sturdy shelter, he who finds one finds a treasure.”   Students were challenged to be a shelter for one another so that their burdens may be lightened.  They were also challenged in their small groups to build a shelter with limited supplies.  The shelters were weather tested for its ability to be wind and rain proof.  This activity helped Junior Thomas Watson work with his team through a given challenge despite having limited supplies.  It also moved the students to see beyond problems to be able to work within a community.  

Students also had moments of encounter with one another and shared stories from their own lives and their challenges.  When listening to and sharing struggles, students learned more empathy for their fellow classmates.  Michael Benoit stated, “The activities helped us to get to know the struggles of our classmates and be more aware of them which helped us to see that we are not alone.” Classmates were also able to connect also during free time in a fun game of Gaga Ball.  Luke Monlezun felt like it was a great time of bonding through friendly competition.  

 

The beauty of the day was embodied through the joy in students’ faces.  They truly enjoyed a day free of phones and technology and were able to connect in a meaningful way.  Anna Guidry stated it best when she said, “The Junior Retreat was so memorable.  I really like how the theme of community connected us as a class”.  This day set apart in nature enabled our Junior Saints to see God’s handiwork in one another and the beauty that each of us brings to everyday life.