Retreats are in full swing at Kellenberg Memorial. Over the last few weeks, sophomore cohorts have had the opportunity to travel to Stella Maris, one of Kellenberg’s retreat houses, located off the Great South Bay in Islip, NY. For many sophomores, this was their first retreat experience at Kellenberg. Due to the pandemic, most of the freshman retreats were canceled last year. As a result, the ARK felt it was only right that sophomore retreats would kick off the year.
When choosing a theme for sophomore retreats this year, the name of the retreat house provided a wonderful choice. Mrs. Harnisch shared, “The theme for the retreats is ‘My Lighthouse – Our Lady, Star of the Sea,’ focusing on looking towards those who can lead us safely to shore, namely Jesus, Our Lady, and our spiritual guides like our parents and grandparents.”
The day’s itinerary is filled with a lot of fun and many opportunities to build friendships and grow in faith. Mrs. Trista Harnisch explained, “While at Stella Maris, we spend time together in fellowship, playing icebreakers and lawn games, participating in Mass together as cohorts, and ending the day with lunch. It’s a nice break from the normal cohort day, enjoying the fresh air and the quiet of the land. The ARK knew that it would be good to bring some normalcy to the students’ daily lives, allowing them some time just to be together and bringing them closer to their faith.”
Additionally, students have been getting to know two very special alumni, Father James Hansen ’07 and newly ordained Father John Crozier ‘11. Both Father John and Father James have been the “guest stars” of the retreats, celebrating Mass and creating fellowship with the students by playing games, sharing a meal, and hanging out around the Stella Maris fire pit. Gianna Tamburrino ’23, reflected, “During the retreat, I got the chance to learn more about my classmates. I really enjoyed the team-building exercises and games. But, my favorite part of the day was when I got to play corn hole with Father James and my friends.”
Katelyn Takes ’23 added, “My first retreat was a blast. The view of the lake was beautiful and the activities we did helped me to make some new friends. I can’t wait for the next one!”