Retreat to Grow
Christian retreats offer you the opportunity for deeper, more meaningful prayer, reflection, and fellowship activities. JPII students participate in at least one retreat annually as a way of growing closer to God and one another. You will experience God in nature, one another, the sacraments, and in prayer using a variety of new settings. These are memorable experiences.
From Thankfulness, Vocation, and Unity to Gifts, Servant Leadership, and Facing Your Future in Faith, JPII retreats explore timeless themes of the Christian life that students hold close for many years.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 states, “Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” The grade 6 retreat focuses on how to live with a grateful heart each day. We explore how to live with grateful hearts in any situation through prayer, talks, group discussions, activities, and most importantly by adoring Christ’s presence in the Holy Eucharist.
“Be who God meant you to be, and you will set the world on fire.” -St. Catherine of Sienna
We look at the four main vocations (married, single, religious, ordained) and how each is an awesome calling from God to become our best selves. We talk about service to each other as the goal of all vocations, in light of God’s call to love, and as each of us is a unique and important part of “the one body” of Christ.
“I in them and you in me, so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”
“I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another. This is how all will know that you are my disciples if you love for one another.”
Matthew 28:19 tells us, “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations”. As the eighth graders prepare to leave middle school and venture into new beginnings, we end our year reflecting on a mission. Throughout the day we explore what it means to be a true disciple, and how to be a missionary of faith in any environment. This retreat is a beautiful time of reflection for the eighth graders as they begin to say goodbye to their peers and their school family, and discernment as they look ahead to the unknown that lies before them.
Early in the Freshman year, students’ first retreat experience at St. John Paul II School focuses on Gifts. Freshman participate in activities and listen to personal witnesses geared towards helping them recognize their own God-given gifts, as well as the gifts of their classmates.
In the fall of Sophomore year, students experience a retreat centered on Family: at home, at school, and in Christ. Witness talks on these three topics provide the foundation for small group discussions, which enable students to deepen existing connections with their classmates. Students also have the opportunity to give and receive positive affirmations with their peers, emphasizing the spirit of family we strive to cultivate at St. John Paul II School.
The Junior class retreat takes place in the spring, with a focus on servant leadership. This retreat experience is designed to underscore the leadership role these students will have as seniors, and their responsibility to model servant leadership to the underclassmen as Jesus did to the Apostles. Students participate in activities and listen to personal witnesses.
Students’ final high school retreat is a significant departure from the freshman, sophomore, and junior experiences. Senior students choose from a selection of retreats, and past offerings have included: hiking in the White Mountains, biking along the Cape Cod Canal, kayaking in Bass River, and walking along the Freedom Trail in Boston. Though the activities are unique, all Senior retreats focus on the theme of moving forward from their time at St. John Paul II School, and the challenge of living out our charism of “Communicating Christ” in the world.