The limitations that have come with COVID-19 have been particularly disruptive to Prep’s ordinarily robust retreat program, but Wednesday brought a glimpse of things to come. The Senior Retreat Day was an effort to provide seniors with a meaningful Prep retreat experience, even though so many of our traditional retreats weren’t possible this year.
The theme was “Life After Prep” and seniors spent the morning looking ahead to what the future would bring. The day began with a welcome and prayer led by Mr. Halloran, S.J., Prep’s Jesuit regent. After hearing a reflection from Mr. Dougherty, Director of Campus Ministry, about his own experiences of change and growth, seniors broke up into peer-led small groups. Finding different spots around campus, they discussed the people and events that had made their Prep experience special, and the lessons that they wanted to carry with them as they embark on this next stage of their lives.
The retreat day echoed, in many ways, the themes of the Emmaus Retreat, especially its focus on recognizing how God was present throughout their Prep journey. The day ended with Mass celebrated by Fr. O’Hare, S.J. of the Math Department, and lunch in the Courtyard. Along with the students who participated on-campus, several students took part in the retreat virtually, watching the talk and Mass through Zoom and then reflecting with each other on the call.
“It has been a hard year but this was really a way to connect with my brothers once again,” said Joaquin Matti, ’21.
Andrew Smith, ’21 added, “Just being able to take a day and reflect is not something we’re always able to do because it feels like the year is going by so fast. I meant a lot just to see everyone and know we’re in the same spot as we move forward…[and] know that we still have each other and will always have a place at Prep.”