Saint Francis hosted the Jesus Reframed Retreat on November 6. This retreat was full of games, stories, and other fun activities to help students connect to God with a focus on fostering a sense of community—something especially important in recent times. Everyone who attended the retreat found it a refreshing break from the everyday stresses of school.
Mr. Andrew Brown, Associate Director of Campus Ministry, Christian Formation, described the retreat “as a way for people to be introduced to the person of Christ and for those familiar with Christ to reestablish a relationship with Christ.” During the retreat, students not only played several games, but also talked, shared stories about their connections with God, and spent time in small group discussions.
The retreat required the combined efforts of many, with student leaders working hard to set up the activities for the day. Student leader Da Hee Yang (’23) stated that “the student leaders and Mr. Brown met several times to create both fun activities and an entertaining and spiritual event.” Despite the intensity of the preparation, she found the process to be worthwhile: “Although it was a smaller group, there was a lot of student bonding, and many students expressed their gratitude for the event as well as wishes to return.” These activities proved to be successful, engaging every participant.
There were several different events throughout the day to help students meet new people and understand how to connect with their faith. Riley Keller (’24), an attendee, highlighted a specific activity as her favorite part, describing it as a circle where Lancers were told to follow instructions such as “touch the shoulders of five people who you think support you.” Several other activities spanned the range of fun, like a real-life version of “Hungry Hippos,” and reflective, such as the space for sharing inspiring stories from students and teachers.
This retreat was much more than a one-day activity for students to attend; it was a way for them to grow and learn, as well as enjoy spending time with other similarly minded students. George Jelley (’24), one of the student leaders, in discussing the retreat, emphasized that “it’s fun and it’s a new way to see the Catholic faith, because I know there were at least two people at the retreat who weren’t Catholic, and it was lovely to know that it wasn’t just all Catholic kids going. It’s a way to understand Catholic faith and a way to have fun with your friends.”
The retreat was an opportunity for students to understand what they believe in; furthermore, in the world we live in now, it was a place of safety for people to rediscover what it means to be a Lancer. Mr. Brown stated, “The purpose of [this retreat] was for young people to question and seek advice and answers for the issues on their hearts, to really build authentic friendships, for them to grow more confident in their relationship with Jesus, and for them to have a strong faith community for them to lean on.”