Following on from Saint Ignatius’ desire for others to become closer to God, the Colleges encourages students to times of reflectivity, prayer and silence. The College hopes that retreats will assist them in finding their purpose in life, spiritual growth and taking the time to listen and hear God’s voice in one’s heart.
Every student from Years 5 to 11 participates in a retreat, activity and reflection day or camp once a year. The Camps are centered on physical activities that help the students to bond with each other through many varied physical activities. The Retreat experiences further the students’ relationship with God. Students are encouraged to understand their feelings and aspirations more deeply and to appreciate what it means to live in a community where the purpose is to love and serve others.
Each Year level has a particular focus. The Year 7 Day of Belonging, for example, looks at developing relationships, Resilience is the theme for Year 8, Year 10 retreat has Service as its theme and the Year 11 theme is focused on Finding God in all Things.
A culmination of all these experiences is the voluntary Kairos Retreats. They are held over four days of the school holidays with over one hundred students from Year 12 having participated once they have graduated. Kairos is an experience of Christian community, with a series of talks given by peers and adults. Prayer and worship are an essential part, as well as the participants’ involvement in discussions and various exercises. An important characteristic of the retreat is that of peer ministry: students who have done the retreat give many of the talks and lead many of the activities. The retreat is a time of trust and openness, generosity and community to quite a remarkable degree.