Article by Garry Tellus, ’17:
On January 10, 2016, the Junior Retreat Staff for the Freshman retreats went to Founders Hollow to learn how to run the upcoming retreats. The previous week, the Junior Retreat Staff for the Latin School and St. Martin de Porres’s retreats made a similar retreat. While there are many parts of the retreat to help each member of the staff to grow in so many ways, to me, there are six major parts I’d like to share.
The purpose of the retreat was, first of all, to bond with each other, to make new friends, and to strengthen our friendships. We played fun games like football, went on a scavenger hunt, and played Indian Chief. We ate together, completed house chores in groups, had group discussions, danced until we couldn’t stand up any longer, and spent as much time with each other as possible.
The second purpose was to become better role models. In these group discussions, we learned the value of respecting people in our lives, and especially respecting ourselves. We’ve realized things that are hidden under the covers, things that we needed help being brought to our attention and the importance of morals, which builds character.
Thirdly, we learned to become better Catholic men and women. The men watched the movie Courageous that gave many great examples of how to do so and opened many eyes. The women watched clips from various movies showing examples of Christian womanhood, spurring conversation. Also in the discussions, we talked about what it means to be a Catholic man or woman and how to apply these things in our lives. For the men, this was put to the test by our displaying acts chivalry, which was a very rewarding feeling to me.
Fourth, we learned the tools to become better teachers. We learned how to answer questions, how to hopefully allow the freshman to open up more while on their retreats, how to make them feel comfortable in the group discussions.
Fifth, we strengthened our relationships with Christ and developed a deeper prayer life. We prayed everyday– morning, noon, and night. We learned how much we need prayer and how it can help and affect us positively.
Finally, the sixth purpose, and most importantly, to become stronger in our faith. There were many great spiritual aspects during the retreat– for me, my favorite experience was most definitely adoration on the final night. I heard stories that one would never imagine happening to anyone or anyone experiencing. Although these stories were quite tragic, the most amazing part is how they overcame the odds with prayer and love from others. The stories that were shared that night taught everyone on the retreat a spiritual lesson. They taught that prayer is the key and God will help you through anything. And hopefully, if we increase our prayer life and strengthen our relationship with Christ, we will be able to share these lessons with the younger members of the Kellenberg family through their retreat experiences.