As a Catholic High School, the spiritual development of young people is of paramount importance. Retreat days allow students to deepen their personal relationship with God and to reflect on how they can apply the Gospel message of Jesus to their daily lives.
For each class, one day is set-aside for students to leave campus and participate in a day-long retreat experience. The theme of the retreat day relates to the subject matter of that grade. Time is given for input, personal prayer and community building activities.
The freshman retreat day, schedule in the beginning weeks of school, help the class embark on their Ursuline experience as a class. The day begins with a walking journey to the nearby campus of Youngstown State University, Kilcawley Center, for a day of presentations, activities, prayer, reflections, discussions. lunch, and activities to promote class unity. The retreat presenter, Fr. Damien Ference from St. Mary Seminary Cleveland, will facilitate the retreat day. Students walk back to school in the afternoon in time for wrap of the retreat day and dismissal.
The sophomore retreat day, “The Face of Christ”, raises students’ awareness of how we encounter Jesus Christ in the “other”; the poor, marginalized, our family members, classmates and in the face of all those in need of our compassion and love. This Gospel Message theme supports the sophomore religion class of New Testament which all students take during second semester. The retreat day, held at nearby Youngstown State University, incorporates music, prayer, activities, lunch, fun and laughter, allowing for the class to build upon the unity they have begun to form in their freshman year. The retreat director, Mr. Ben Walther, Director of Campus Ministry at Walsh University, will help students begin to discern how God is calling them to be the Face of Christ for others in our world.
The junior retreat focuses on various social justice issues that students will encounter as part of their Junior religious education course of study, as well as issues that they will encounter in their lives. Some of the topics of the day are: taking care of God’s creation, fair trade, the distribution of power within society and its effects on people from all walks of life and parts of the world, and finally human trafficking which has become an ever increasing problem in the world but more specifically in the United States. Input, discussion and reflection are the major components of the day.
The focus of the senior retreat allows the students to reflect on their lives, to look forward to the many decisions they will make in the upcoming months, to repair relationships and to ask forgiveness. It is also a time to deepen their prayer life and experience new forms of praying, to walk the labyrinth with their peers, who are their companions on this journey to adulthood and to express gratitude for all the gifts they have been given. It is also a time to look inward and decide the type of adult they wish to become.