The middle and high school retreat program engages students in spiritual formation outside of the regular religion or theology classroom. Each grade level retreat incorporates a variety of spiritual exercises and activities - experiential and meditative, communal and individual, outward-looking and introspective, enjoyable and meaningful. The retreats are designed to build community and relationships, with each other and with Jesus Christ. With a different theme each year, the student retreat program forms our students in the understanding of our faith as an invitation to journey in relationship with Jesus and promotes the students' active response to that invitation. The retreats incorporate a variety of activities including scripture study, group discussion, team-building activities, individual reflection, guided prayer, individual prayer, access to sacraments, witness talks from students or guests, spiritually significant actions, music, and time for fellowship. All retreats are directed by our Campus Ministry team and include planning and leadership from Holy Spirit students.
In development this year
Finding My Place
The 7th grade retreat focuses on self-discovery and exploration of community. Created by God with unique gifts, every individual in our Church and school community has an important role to fulfill. Through team-building activities, small-group scripture study, and a spiritual scavenger hunt, 7th grade students explore the ways that they are each called to identify their God-given gifts and put them to use in our school community.
The Sheep and the Shepherd
As 8th graders prepare for the transition to high school, their retreat turns their attention toward Jesus, the Good Shepherd, and his constant guidance and protection through the transitions of life. The activities emphasize the importance of listening for the shepherd's voice, hearing his call, and committing to following his direction. An in-depth study of the presentation of the Good Shepherd in the Gospels guides the students to rely on Jesus as our navigator through the many joys, challenges, and disappointments that we face in life.
Meeting Jesus in the Nativity
Scheduled near the end of Advent or during the Christmas season, freshmen are guided through an exploration of the meaning of the Incarnation in their lives as 21st century teenagers. The exercises during the retreat encourage the students to live the incarnation: to prepare a place for Christ in their hearts and be his words, hands, and feet in our world. The 9th grade retreat begins the high school retreat tradition of featuring witness talks from upperclassmen.
Meeting Jesus in the Passion
Scheduled for a Friday in Lent, sophomores spend the morning reflecting on three key moments in the ministry of Jesus: the temptation, the revelation of his passion, and the agony in the garden. In the accompanying activities, students recognize the struggles in their lives, Jesus's call to confront those struggles, and the importance of sacrifice in the Christian life. The retreat concludes with a reflection on the passion and the presentation of Living Stations of the Cross for the middle and high school classes.
Earth, Wind, and Fire: The Holy Spirit Guides Us
The junior retreat follows the Junior Ring Mass, when juniors are presented their class rings and commissioned as committed leaders of Holy Spirit. The retreat introduces students to various forms of prayer and the role of the Holy Spirit as the person of the trinity who grounds us in our faith, graces us with the gifts of the Spirit, and gives them the courage to be missionary disciples. The retreat concludes with the class brainstorming ideas and planning their senior theme and banner.
Love God and Love Your Neighbor
Part I: Within the first few weeks of their senior year, we take the seniors to the True Vine Foundation ropes course for a retreat designed to strengthen their relationship with God through their relationships with each other. The events of the day challenge the students to work together, communicate, support each other, and build each other up. Throughout the day, students pray for each member of their class and focus on the God-gifted talents of each classmate.
Part II: After the students have concluded exams but before graduation, they gather for a Day of Reflection. The highlight of the retreat is the Circle of Thanks: The class celebrates the gift of each classmate and gives thanks for their companionship. The day concludes with presentations from Bama Catholic students who share the role of their faith in their lives post-high school.