My oldest left for his senior retreat yesterday. I remember my senior retreat, it had life changing results. Someone asked me yesterday what a senior retreat is. I often take for granted that many people in my community know what senior retreats are because of the dense population of Catholics in our area and their exposure to retreats. For those of you who are not Catholic or did not attend Catholic high school let me explain. Our Catholic High Schools have retreat programs that start during freshmen year with a one day in school retreat it usually revolves around friendship with others and with God. It is a time away from school work to listen to others talk about their faith and to reflect on their own faith. Sophomore year is different for every school but for many it is about our relationship with God and our community. Junior retreat is much more in depth and is usually overnight. It involves recognizing our gifts and talents and trying to figure out how to use them for God. Some schools use this time for group service to our community. Senior retreat is the capstone to the program. It involves leaving everything including your phone behind for at least three days, retreating overnight. It involves, Mass, the Sacraments, talks, group discussions, and in depth reflection of self and one’s most intimate relationship with God. It can shift one’s perspective of others, faith, and self.
In our busy world teenagers are constantly engaged in everything but prayer or mature self-reflection. Senior retreat is a time for this pause in life. Those seniors are about to enter the work place or college. They have pivotal decisions to make very soon. Strengthening one’s faith and understanding one’s relationship with God will help to guide them and support them through this time of change and growth. Please pray that my son takes the time to reflect and feels the presence of God during this retreat. He already has a strong faith but a deeper relationship is what we all need. Thanks for the prayers.