Embracing the Spiritual Journey: Ablaze Retreat at St.Catherine of Siena Academy
At St. Catherine Academy there's a profound commitment to nurturing the spiritual growth of each student. At the heart of this mission is the senior retreat – a transformative experience that goes beyond academics to delve into the nurturing of one’s relationship with Jesus Christ.
A Respite Amidst Senior Year Challenges
The Ablaze Retreat took place from November 14-16 at the Colombiere Retreat and Conference Center. It was a well-timed break for seniors, coming just after the busy college application period. More than just a breather from senior year chaos, it was a valuable opportunity for students to gather with open hearts, share reflections, and most importantly, strengthen their relationship with Christ.
Guiding Lights: Debbie Herbeck and the Be Love Revolution Team
Under the guidance of Debbie Herbeck, co-founder of Be Love Revolution, and her team of inspiring young women, the senior retreat aspires to foster lasting friendships and deepen the girls' relationship with Christ.
Theme: Valley of Dry Bones
Centered around the theme "Valley of Dry Bones" from Ezekiel, the retreat promised a profound exploration of faith, self-discovery, and the acknowledgment of God's omnipresence in our lives. In their evaluations, several girls mentioned they "no longer want to live in the valley of dry bones!” 😀
In the Heart of the Retreat: Moments of Revelation
The heart of the retreat lies in its moments of revelation. From Tuesday evening’s meditative time in quiet Adoration, to confessions, Mass with Fr. John of God, and continuing to Wednesday night's soul-searching Praise and Worship, to the transformative experience of realizing God's love, renunciations, a bonfire, and thought-provoking journal prompts, each element contributes to the spiritual journey for the retreatants.
The Challenge of Disconnecting: Phones and Beyond
We continue the long-held tradition of going “phone free” on our retreats. Despite initial concerns, the majority of participants found this intentional break to be a blessing. Reduced anxiety, better sleep, and the ability to be present in the moment were common sentiments, even though a few missed the comfort of talking to parents or capturing moments through photos.
Profound Encounters: Growing Closer to Christ
The feedback speaks volumes – 97% of participants felt the Lord speaking to them during the retreat! A remarkable 98% reported feeling closer to the Lord, emphasizing the profound impact this spiritual journey had on their lives.
We are very grateful for the amazing group leaders. We know that each leader was placed where their gifts and talents could best serve our Lord.
Let’s celebrate these moments of spiritual growth for our seniors! We hope the benefits of the Ablaze Retreat stay with our girls and as they return from retreat, they carry with them not just memories but a strengthened connection with their faith, ready to face the challenges and joys that lie ahead.
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