Students of Prince of Peace parish or students of Shawe Memorial Jr./Sr. High School are invited to spend a weekend on a spiritual retreat once a year. The length of retreats varies depending on grade level, but all retreats have the same purpose and format. The retreats begin freshman year and build on each other with the culmination occurring their senior year.
Freshman and sophomore retreats begin on Sunday and end on Monday and take place second semester. Junior retreat begins Friday evening and ends on Sunday and also takes place second semester. Senior retreat begins Thursday evening and lasts until Sunday evening and is the only retreat that happens first semester.
Retreats are a time away from the normal pattern of students’ lives that offer them the opportunity to spend some time with God and friends, to search a little deeper within themselves, and to help nurture spirituality. Students are given the chance to focus on the relationships in their lives and learn and share with others in the hopes of strengthening them.
Adult and student leaders are needed in order to make the retreats a success. The leaders follow an outline based on the theme of the particular retreat they are attending and share a moment of their lives as witness to how they’ve come to be in the position they are in in their lives with an emphasis on the spiritual. People in all stages of faith are invited to share. Due to the depth of trust the students bring with them in their leaders and each other, leaders must be able to commit to the full time requirements for the retreat. Immediate (and sometimes extended) family members are not allowed to be leaders on the retreat with their family members.
What is required of any leader is a great passion to want to make a difference in a teenager’s life; to not be afraid to lay it on the line for them in an effort to make an impression. Whatever the level of faith is in one’s life isn’t as important as the ability to acknowledge the strength or weakness when dealing with a relationship with Jesus Christ.