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First Koinonia Retreat Marks a New Era for Prep Sophomores

On Saturday, September 30, forty-three members of the Class of 2020 gathered at the Archdiocesan Youth Retreat Center in Kearny to take part in the first ever Koinonia, a new day-long retreat program for the sophomore class.

Koinonia is a Greek word meaning "fellowship" or "communion," which was used to describe the earliest Christian communities. The theme of the retreat is community and teamwork. Sophomores reflect on their individual talents and values through small group activities and conversations with senior and adult leaders. The centerpiece of the retreat is a challenge course experience at the retreat house, where the students learn how to unite their individual gifts and work as a team to overcome several obstacles.

This new retreat grew out of the original Sophomore Retreat, a service-and-solidarity overnight which began in 2010. The shift to Koinonia represents an attempt to better respond to the particular gifts and challenges of sophomore year, and to prepare students for leadership as they reach the halfway point in their Prep careers. The sophomore service requirement, originally covered by the Sophomore Retreat, has been changed to a 10-hour goal which sophomores must complete through individual service. This model will give sophomores greater freedom to find a service site that they enjoy, and provide a smoother transition into the junior year 60 hour requirement. The next Koinonia retreat will be held on October 21.