The first Senior Retreat, for the Gold Cohort, on October 7, 2020 also benefitted from the fine weather. The retreat took place outdoors, starting on Kelly Mac Field where Seniors could sit social distanced and masked. Fr. Kareem Smith presided over Mass.
It was the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary. Fr. Kareem chose the readings for this liturgy and, in his homily, he spoke of Mary and how she is a model for women. He spoke of Mary's invitation by God through the Angel Gabriel and how Gabriel reminded Mary, "do not be afraid." Incidentally, he mentioned that those words, "Do not be afraid," occur 365 times in the Bible (one for each day of the year!). Mary is a model for all of us.
Mass was followed by meditation and a Witness Talk that focused on the role that God plays in all of our lives. The talk concluded with a lively hymn.
The Seniors then enjoyed a traditional Senior activity as they "chalked" their respective parking spots.
After lunch, the group proceeded to a grassy area behind the Ursuline Province Center. They sat around a bonfire and spoke about their retreat theme, taken from the book of Jeremiah:
“For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil,
to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11
This passage is quite apropos this year as we all deal with things that are not as we want them to be. The discussion concluded with an exercise in which Seniors listed five things they are grateful for, five people they wished to pray for, one thing they cannot control, one thing they can control, as well as an Ursuline memory. They then said a decade of the rosary, assigning a prayer to each of these intentions. Following the prayer, students were invited to place their papers with their intentions into the bonfire.
The day concluded back in the Senior parking lot in a very festive atmosphere where the Seniors tie dyed tee shirts for their 9th grade "sisters." It was another enjoyable community-building activity.