Retreats and Reflection Days are an integral part of the religious life of our students at OLSH. The Religious Education Coordinators at each campus, in cooperation with the Assistant Principal Religious Education and the OLSH parish priests, provide opportunities for young people to grow in their faith and their love of God and humanity.
Each campus has its own particular style of these retreat experiences. For those preparing for the Sacraments of Reconciliation, Eucharist and Confirmation, retreat experiences conclude the preparation process. The retreat days involve all students, not just those who are preparing for the Sacraments. At other levels where camps are involved, the retreat experience becomes an important part of their camp experience. For Year 5’s it is included in the ‘Alice on the Line’ program whereas for Years 7 and 9, it is incorporated into the camp program. Year 8’s embark on a one day retreat experience away from the school scene where they can reflect on their journey so far and prepare for the next stage, at another campus, the following year.
Year 11’s have a two day Colloquium experience which takes place away from the school. Students are led through a process of discerning the spirit in their lives as well as the importance of the relationships that they form with others members of their group.
The Year 12 retreat experience is traditionally held at the end of Term One. This is timed so that students, who have now got a feel of the pressure s of Year 12 work, can remove themselves from the busyness of school, social and work commitments. They students relocate to Ross River campground where they are led through a process of reflection and discussion, culminating in the opportunity to see in God’s love, a pathway to happier lives in the knowledge that they are not alone and that they are fully loved by a caring and affirming God. The affirmation activity is a highlight of this retreat. They have learned to trust and respect and affirm each other in a supportive and fraternal way.
For each of these experiences, highly competent and skilled staff, strongly motivated by a will to be of service, work with the students to help them along the way. At other times, mentors and leaders are brought in to help motivate students and assist them in the journey of discernment.