Each year Elder students participate in a retreat or reflection day(s) in order to augment their faith and strengthen their relationship with God. To review class-specific information, please expand each of the lists below.
Freshmen experience two days of renewal during the school year: one in the fall and the other in the spring.
The fall experience is a half-day held on campus where the student is introduced to the concept of “The Elder Man” and sets his physical/emotional, academic, social and spiritual goals for the year. He then meets with a faculty advisor to discuss his goals.
The spring experience is also held on campus and is operated by our Spiritual Boosters group. This day focuses on the student’s image of God and how that image affects his relationship with God.
The sophomores experience a day of renewal in the spring on campus with the theme “My Relationship with myself, God and the Elder Community.” The focus is on how the student can be involved in a very real way in making a positive impact on the Elder Community especially in the sense of making the love of God visible to each person the student encounters. This day of renewal is led by seniors who give witness to their own Elder experiences and the impact the community has had on their formation.
Juniors are required to attend an overnight retreat held at Bergamo Center in Dayton, OH. The Bergamo retreat is operated by the staff at Bergamo and aims to be a time for the students to take a look at who they are as a person and in what direction their lives are going.
Many people have found that retreat can be a good time to think about important relationships and decisions. Retreat is also a chance to get to know classmates better, to be real with one another, and to get beyond how they normally see one another. Finally, the two days can provide some time to figure out who God is for them, and what values are most important to them right now.
In addition to junior retreat, some juniors will attend a Kairos retreat during the spring of their junior year so they may become leaders for senior Kairos retreats.
Seniors are required to attend a Kairos retreat either at the end of their junior year or sometime during their senior year. Elder Kairos retreats are held at the Jesuit Spiritual Center at Milford. Kairos is a religious retreat program grounded in Christian incarnational theology, our Christian belief that God is very much part of our real world, especially through the continuing presence of Jesus Christ. It is an experience of Christian community, with a series of talks given both by peers and by adults. Prayer and the sacraments are an essential part of the program as well as the participants' involvement in discussions and other exercises. The program lasts for three days, with the challenge to continue it for as long as one possibly can beyond the retreat experience itself.