Retreats are moments that we take to draw back from our normal world in order to know God deeper and to find Christ within ourselves and in others. At St. Genevieve, each grade level has the opportunity to participate in retreats that focus on growing in faith and unity as children of God.
Freshmen Retreat — The Birth of the Brotherhood/Sisterhood
At the beginning of the school year, St. Genevieve High School celebrates our incoming freshman class by facilitating a girls and boys freshman overnight retreat. These retreats are held on campus, and are peer-led with lots of meaningful discussions, fun activities, midnight Mass, and great food. This retreat experience gives freshmen opportunities to bond as a class, get to know one another better and form meaningful and lasting friendships, which they can carry with them throughout their entire high school experience.
Members of the sophomore classes are swept away from the hustle-and-bustle of day-to-day academic life in this one-day intense spiritual retreat. Here students experience meaningful talks given by student leaders, participate in inspirational prayer, personal and group reflections, fun activities, and great food. Senior students, who have led the powerful Kairos retreats, are in charge of this sophomore class retreat which provides opportunities for spiritual growth, which can deepen their faith life. Additionally, these retreats offer moments for participants to deepen existing friendships, establish new friendships and mend damaged relationships. As each class strengthens its bonds in a spirit of shared support that excludes no one, they can create a positive and powerful high school experience.
The administration, faculty and staff view our senior class as partners in the overall leadership of St. Genevieve. Taking place in May, this retreat has become a vital component in building the Valiant Spirit. It prepares the members of the junior class to transition into their leadership role as seniors.
Members of the junior classes are swept away from the hustle-and-bustle of day-to-day academic life and brought to the Mater Dolorosa Retreat Center in the Sierra Madre foothills.
During this intense spiritual retreat, students experience meaningful talks given by student leaders and several teachers, inspirational prayer, personal and group reflections, fun activities, and great food (their favorite Lino’s Tacos). Senior students, who have led the year’s powerful Kairos retreats, also facilitate this retreat. Many teachers, though they may not be giving a talk, make it a priority to join the retreat as a sign of love and support.
Deepening Faith & Friendships
In addition to preparing students to lead their school, this retreat provides students with an opportunity for spiritual growth, which can deepen their faith life. It also offers times to deepen existing friendships, establish new friendships and mend damaged relationships. With renewed and strengthened bonds, participants are prepared to lead their school community.
This glorious day can only conclude one way… with a celebration! Praising God is what we do best! We have a beautiful liturgical mountainside celebration under the stars; the picturesque San Gabriel Valley lights serve as candles at our open-air cathedral. At moments like these, Christ’s love is indeed palpable.
On days like these, we realize that something truly exceptional has happened to us. Students who started the day walking in as members of the junior class now stand tall, and feel empowered, walking away as seniors ready to lead.
Kairos is an ancient Greek word meaning the right or opportune moment: a period of time in which something special happens. Used in the context of a religious retreat, the word Kairos refers to God’s time — a time spent in contemplation and communication with God. In 1965, the Jesuit priests brought the Kairos retreat format to Catholic high schools. It has become a significant part of faith formation for young adults across the country.
St. Genevieve High School has offered the Kairos retreat experience for senior students for many years. We have witnessed the deepening faith of those students who have experienced the Kairos retreat. Kairos is an extraordinary and amazing experience where students gain deep insights and understanding as to: how to love themselves; how to love others for their God self; how to be at peace with themselves, despite their perceived faults and insecurities; how to lead a healthy and happy life; how to overcome problems and issues that may be blocking or limiting their true potential; how to heal damaged relationships with family members and friends; how to heal hurt feelings and possibly a broken heart; and, how to gain the ability to forgive themselves as well as others. Most importantly though, the Kairos retreat experience brings the students closer to God and strengthens their ability to directly communicate with God and Jesus through prayer and the celebration of the Mass.
The Kairos retreat has had a tremendous impact on our community; students who participate in this retreat experience profound life-changing moments. When students return to campus they are filled with the Holy Spirit, feeling a sense of joy and peace that is too big to contain. This retreat has such a lasting impact that many alumni remember the experience quite fondly for years to come.
Sports Team Retreats
In keeping with our school philosophy that we are all campus ministers, several of our sports teams have incorporated team retreats as part of their season. They come together at the start of the season to call upon God to be with them as they practice and compete. They use this time to bond as a team, and they often do service projects as part of the retreat experience.