Retreats & Spirituality Days
Retreat and reflection days form part of the distinctive character of Catholic schools. They recognise the individuality and dignity of each student by fostering their unique potential and spirituality. These occasions are a call for deep reflection where prayer, liturgy and scripture are at the centre of the experience. (Catholic Schools Office, Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle)
The retreat program offered at St Francis Xavier’s College has a long, and proud, history. While there have been many adaptations of the program to meet the ever-changing times and culture, the relevance and importance of the retreat experience to the students’ faith and life journey has continued to this day. Overwhelmingly, the majority of our students concur that ‘the retreat has had a lasting influence on my life’.
Underlying every retreat program is Theology (story of understanding about God) and Anthropology (story of understanding about the human person).
The retreat is a structured time away from the normal routine of home and school where students are given the opportunity to listen, reflect, share and express their relationship with themselves, significant others, God and creation. Unlike a camp or holiday, there is a definite program with important time constraints in which there is an opportunity for both staff and students to get away and recharge, reconnect and re-create.
The retreat aims to enable students to:
- Grow in awareness and understanding of the inter-relationship of mind, heart, body and spirit (cf. College Vision Statement) in their lives.
- Know, appreciate and understand themselves as a person in relationship with themselves, others, God and creation.
- Express a more authentic response to Jesus’ call to be a loving and lifegiving person in all their relationships.
- Further understand the role of the spirit that connects and inspires all people.
The intentions of the program include:
Providing the students an opportunity to: stop, contemplate, reflect so as to:
- contemplate who is Jesus? Who is God?
- reflect on their relationship with God, with Jesus, with self and with one another
- reflect on the role of the Spirit and how it connects and inspires people
- reflect on themselves, people around them and their environment
- slow down, stop and contemplate their current place in the world today
Ultimately, the retreat program is a core aspect of our mission as a Catholic college.