As a Catholic school in the Edmund Rice tradition our mission and culture are informed by the mission of Jesus and the Edmund Rice charism. As such, we are a faith community committed to excellence in spiritual formation. Our contemporary retreat program is designed to make Jesus’ message of compassion, justice and love an active reality and provide purposeful opportunities to live and grow as a ‘Signum Fidei’ (Sign of Faith). The year level retreats are held on a day throughout the year best fitting with the theme for that particular year level. The Retreat program provides students with the opportunity for self growth, and developing an understanding of themselves and others.
An overview of the retreats conducted for individual year levels:
Year 4: Who is my Neighbour? The Good Samaritan is used as the central Gospel passage to allow students to explore the notion of friendship, camaraderie and courage. Boys are introduced to the concept of being ‘Upstanders’ and explore the story of Edmund Rice and our own College history. The retreat generally occurs in Term 1.
Year 5: Where do I fit in this world? Using stewardship (Catholic Social Teaching) as a theme, we travel to Rocks Riverside park and reflect on the mission of Edmund, Ambrose and Jesus. Boys understand the hardships that each of these men faced, and then look to reflect on their own challenges and how they can be approached. The boys discover some Irish traditions and games as a part of the day.
Year 6: What makes a leader? In their roles as Junior School leaders the boys explore Servant leadership and being a ‘Signum Fidei.’ How did Jesus, Edmund and Ambrose lead and how can they lead the Junior School in 2016? The retreat is held in the first two weeks of the school year.
Year 7: Who am I and who do I want to be? Students learn about important virtues that they can embody in their lives and the relevance of Catholic Social teachings in 2017. So often we are an ‘outcomes based’ society, so students are encouraged to consider the theme of ‘Common Good’ to provoke thought on what kind of people they admire most and how can they mature into well rounded young men.
Year 8: The power of relationships. Adolescence can be a time where old friendships are discarded and new ones formed. Furthermore, boys begin to clash with parents and siblings more than ever before as they look to become more independent young people. How can they form positive relationships with those that they work most closely with? How did Jesus respond when he was challenged? How did he liaise on a daily basis with his family and disciples? Boys are asked to consider the relationships in their life and how they can be more positive and productive.
Year 9: Street Retreat. Matthew 25. “Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty, and not help you?” The Year 9 boys look at the notion of the greater good and what it means to be a part of a community. We are obliged as Christians to reach out to the marginalised in our world; to leave judgement behind and become present and compassionate to all that we meet. The boys will spend the day working with St Vincent De Paul, the homeless and formerly incarcerated to gain a greater perspective of society and the needs of people in it.
Year 10: Band of Brothers. The Year 10 group move into the Senior School are asked to come together as a unified group. Despite their differences, students need to be united in the goals, aspirations and efforts. The ‘Band of Brothers’ retreat at the University of Queensland invites our boys to come together as a cohort and learn one another’s stories while challenging themselves to give all that they can to the year.