Class of 2020 Bonds at Sophomore Retreat

October 23, 2017


Photo Credit: Mei Lamison/Achona Online

The sophomore class consists of 127 girls, the biggest class currently at Academy.

On Oct. 17, 2017, the class of 2020 traveled to Mary Help of Christians for their Sophomore Retreat. This year, the retreat was set around the theme, “Made in His Image.” The purpose was to remind young women of God’s love for them and that he made them in His image and likeness.  

Retreat team member, Bridget Costello, first welcomed the sophomores with various icebreakers.

Photo Credit: Mei Lamison/Achona Online
Students were recreating the movements of riding a roller coaster. The hills of the coaster represent the highs and lows the girls would face in their lives.

The icebreakers encouraged bonding among the girls. Each student was able to share their personality traits, personal values, and fun details about themselves that their classmates may not have known.

Victoria Hifko (‘20) said, “I feel like we’ve come together more as a class on this retreat. The games we played were really fun and I learned a lot of details about the other girls in my group.”

After the first games were played, students broke off into smaller groups where they were able to discuss deeper topics and take the time to think about their relationships with each other and their relationships with God.

Ecclesiology teacher Felix Kalinowski attended the retreat along with the sophomore class.

Kalinowski said, “The whole point of a retreat is to step back and look at yourself and how life is going.”

Many sophomores were able to do that in the main activity in which they participated. Each girl received a piece of cardstock resembling an iPhone. The task was for each girl to draw their own Snapchat story on the given paper. However, this picture was not just supposed to be a selfie of themselves, but a picture of different drawings and symbols to represent the highs of lows of their lives.  

Sarah Gonzalez (’20) said, “I really enjoyed making these iPhones. It was a unique and fun way to show off our personalities and creativity. It was so interesting looking through what everyone drew.”

When the students finished their drawings, they then listened to various lectures given by different members of the Mary Help of Christians’ retreat team. The topics of the lectures ranged from roller coasters to eating disorders, however they all include a similar theme; even if you lose touch with God, you can always restore your faith in Him.

Maya Harrell (‘20) felt that the lectures were the most inspiring part of the retreat, she said, “The story of the counselors here were so moving touching. They really pushed me to grow my faith.”

The next half of the day was spent in the church. After hours of thoughtful activities and reflection, students attended confession and mass.

Photo Credit: Mei Lamison/Achona Online
Mary Help of Christians was first built in 1928 as an orphanage for boys.

While peaceful music played, girls were able to have personal time to pray and think about what they had learned.

Photo Credit: Mei Lamison/Achona Online
Emma Eaton (‘20) said, “My favorite part was being able to have silent prayer. During the normal school week, all of our schedules are filled with school work, activities, programs, and much more. With this busy life, it is hard to find time for quiet prayer.”

Harrell said, “The bond with my fellow AHN sisters has only strengthened on this retreat. Every year I feel we grow closer and closer. I love each and every one of them, they are truly like real sisters to me.”

Lauren Jones (‘20) loved the retreat, she said, “It was a blast. I just loved hanging out with my sisters. The best part was when everyone ran down to the lake to take cute pictures.”

Along with the Sophomore Retreat, some Academy students also go to Mary Help of Christians for a mission trip.

At the end of the retreat, all the girls were given various saint cards. They were all of different female saints who lived throughout the history of the church.

Photo Credit: Mei Lamison/Achona Online
All 127 girls received their own saint card, most being different saints.

The saint cards included Blessed Marie-Rose Durocher, St. Mary Mazzarello, St. Josephine Bakhita and others.

Alexa Fredericks (‘20) said, “I love that we recieved saint cards of both powerful and faithful women. It’s inspires to have faith as strong as they did.”

The cards will soon be used for an ecclesiology project in Kalinowski’s class, he said,“The girls are going to tell their class about the saint they received.”

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