Seniors on retreat.
By Maria Siap, Director of Campus Ministry
As Catholics, we see the tradition of spiritual retreat in the ministry of Jesus (Luke 4:1-13, Mark 6:31), and we seek to provide spiritual formation of our students in His image. Retreats provide students with the opportunity to learn about and grow their faith through prayer, reflection and fellowship. These concrete experiences complement the students’ Catholic theology courses, enriching their lessons and knowledge.
Senior Christian Awakening Retreat
The word I most often hear associated with our senior retreats is “life-changing.” The seniors are immersed in a four-day spiritual experience with a small group of about six students and a young Scecina alumni leader who guides their experience. The experience can be broken up in the daily themes: Doubt the first, cry the second, trust the third, live the fourth.
The Christian Awakening Retreat is powerful. Key aspects are the closeness and intimacy the seniors develop within the small group faith-sharing experiences and the spiritual witness stories of staff chaperones. Students form deep ties with one another and share emotional pieces of their lives that they continue to struggle with. With the guidance of the alumni volunteers, they are able to open themselves to their classmates and experience acceptance while being authentic. Staff who share their life stories of faith provide students with a model of the blessings and struggles of living a Christian life. Students often are moved by recognizing that adults whom they admire and respect deal with the same everyday struggles and challenges of faith that they do.
The Campus Ministry Department also has implemented retreats for the underclassmen. Seniors, having already experienced their own retreat, serve as leaders, with assistance from staff members. The underclass retreat days in April provide a day prayer and reflection for our entire school community to focus together on Christ.
Junior Overnight Retreats
The junior boys retreat was held at the Rancho Framasa CYO Camp, and the Junior girls retreat was at the Flat Rock YMCA Camp. Both retreats focus on helping the students recognize their identity as Christians. The theme for 2016 girls retreat was “Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire,” a quote from St. Catherine of Sienna. The boys theme was: “Do not wish to be anything but what you are, and try to be that perfectly,” a quote from St. Francis de Sales.
One-day Sophomore and Freshman Retreats
The sophomore retreat focuses on Unity as a class and as the body of Christ, while the freshmen retreat is focused on service and the life and service of Father Thomas Scecina. The themes are:
Freshman: Scecina Strong! Called to Serve. “As each one has received a gift, use it to serve one another as good stewards of God’s grace.” 1 Peter 4:10
Sophomores: United As One. “I urge you to live in a manner worthy of the call you have received, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another through love, striving to preserve the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” Ephesians 4:1-3
The Scecina school community comes together as one at the end of the day to celebrate Mass. This year’s celebrant, Father Bob Gilday, in his homily reflected on how wonderful it was to see the energy and vibrancy of our students as the returned from their retreats.
Posted on Wed, July 6, 2016
by Rose Timpe filed under