From October 23-25th our grade 10-12 students participated in their Grade Level Retreats. Read below to see reflections from Ariane, Alyssa and Mrs. Thiessen from the great week!
From Mrs. Thiessen:
So, what do YOU need to prune from your life? Not the easiest question to ask a group of teenagers at our Grade Level Retreats.
I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit because apart from me you can do nothing. -John 15:5
Students used their retreat day to look honestly at themselves and reflect on what things are keeping them from being the best person they can be. Fear . . . Pride. . . Bad relationships . . . Smoking. . . Sleeping too much . . . All these things can be pruned from our lives, but it’s difficult.
The process can be uncomfortable and even painful, but the rewards are many. Students in each grade shared their own personal witness talks with their peers, encouraging each other to take a good look at their own selves and how they can stay connected to Jesus.
As the day continued, we had a chance to focus on the good things that come from this process . . . Joy, happiness, empathy, etc. Group skits helped to reinforce which bad fruits we need to watch out for and which good fruits await us when the right choices are made. Reflection from the Grade 12 Retreat by Alyssa C:
This being my last year at St. Boniface and my last Grade level retreat I entered into the day with my expectations high. Mrs. Thiessen managed to exceed all expectations I had, making for a wonderfully powerful day spent with the rest of my grade twelve classmates.
Throughout this year, there will be many lasts that we all will have to endure: our last first day, our last Halloween, our last Remembrance Day, and many other lasts including the grade level retreats.
We were arranged into groups with people we wouldn’t normally hang out with around school. We learnt a bit about the people in our groups and participated in a sharing activity. This was where we would write something nice about the people in our group on a piece of paper. You get to learn a lot about what your classmates think of you, some of the things they had to say where very touching. Throughout the day, we also heard three testimonies from our classmates. One about feeling lost, one about finding God and one about being strong in a time of loss. They were all so touching and held a firm understanding between all of us in the room.
Spending time together during lunch was a nice change of pace. With all the extracurriculars going on in school it's hard to find a good time just to hang out and enjoy the company of your friends.
The afternoon and end of the retreat were all for the trust aspect of our classmates. We had to put our trust in them something that we can all find hard to do. But in the end, we managed to do a pretty good job, putting our trust in each other. To close off the whole day, we washed each others’ hands. It was a great close to such a fantastic day.
Having such a good time with my classmates is something I may never have gotten if it weren’t for this retreat.
Highlights from the Grade 11 Retreat:
Reflection from the Grade 10 Retreat by Ariane B:
Since this year’s school theme is “I am the vine; you are the branches,” we spent our day reflecting upon how God prunes us from our sins and from our distractions. Through activities and prayer, we grew stronger together in our faith and as a community. A big thank you to Mrs. Thiessen for all of her planning and organizing to make this day possible for us!
Special thanks goes to Campus Ministry volunteers and especially Mrs. Thiessen for putting on such outstanding retreats!