April 01, 2024

A Cherished Tradition: The St. Anthony Senior Retreat

As spring blooms across campus, St. Anthony seniors recently followed in the footsteps of generations of alumni returning from a beloved rite of passage – the Senior Retreat. This two-day, off-site experience has been an integral part of the St. Anthony journey for generations of alums.

Held each March, the retreats provide a pause from the whirlwind of high school life. This year, the guys and girls ventured to the scenic Villa Maria and Corpus Christi Priory, respectively, leaving phones and distractions behind. The retreats create sacred spaces for seniors to explore their relationship with God, reflect on their high school experiences, and envision their future paths.

The schedule strikes a balance between structured activities and unstructured time. Speakers’ talks and testimonies inspire seniors. Small group sharing allows classmates to open up about their journeys. Moments of reflection, adoration, and quiet provide stillness seldom found amid teenage life’s constant buzz.

Yet the retreats blend profound and light experiences. Students revel in the simplicity of spending uninterrupted time with friends, forging tighter bonds through games, meals, and evening programs. Senior Emma Helmink added, “The senior retreat allowed us all to step away from the stress of school and teenage life. We were able to be fully present with each other and connect in ways we wouldn’t have been able to just as classmates.”

While initially apprehensive about disconnecting from devices, many seniors find the tech-free environment unexpectedly refreshing. “I enjoyed my time being away from my phone and actually having face-to-face conversations with my classmates,” shared Evan Mossman

Witnessing students’ transformations is profoundly rewarding. As facilitator Mr. Ben Zuber shares, “You can see the retreat’s impact immediately. Seniors return with new clarity and appreciation for what truly matters as their high school chapter closes.”

Senior Abigail Thoele adds, “I really enjoyed the senior retreat, and I thought that it was a great experience. I feel that I was really able to grow in my faith through all the talks that were given and the adoration time.”

Ultimately, the retreat aims to equip seniors with tools to nurture their faith long after graduation. As they transition to college, careers, and adult responsibilities, the hope is that remembering the stillness and insights discovered during those sacred days on retreat will be anchors in life’s storms.

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