On March 19 and 20, the senior class at St. Paul High School participated in their senior retreat.
It was an opportunity to look back on the past triumphs and challenges this group has experienced as a class and then look forward to their future beyond high school. I was lucky enough to be able to share this experience with the Class of 2007. In fact, each of our classes at Norwalk Catholic School Junior High and St. Paul High School, get the opportunity to experience a "retreat."
These retreat experiences help encourage spiritual growth, build class unity, and develop leadership skills.
These retreat experiences give our students the chance to "go away for awhile." They "retreat" from the busyness and noise that marks our modern world. For example, the senior class "retreated" to the St. Joseph Christian Life Center on the shore of Lake Erie. They got the chance to get out of the daily routine of life and prayerfully reflect on their lives. Although retreats often mean physically going to a new location, it's possible to experience a retreat in our daily lives. One of our elementary classes is able to have "mini-retreats" right in their classroom.
Thinking about the retreats that are available for our students, reminds us of the need to "get away for awhile" in our own lives. We are constantly bombarded by "noise." We rush from one appointment to another. We need to get the shopping done. We need to pick up the kids and rush them from one practice to another. Somehow, we have to fit a meal in there too. Meanwhile, the radio, TV, or cell phone is always adding another layer of "noise" to our lives. It is always good for us to seek some quiet time to reflect on our lives, to "go away for awhile" on our own mini-retreat.
For Christians, we are coming to the most holy time of the year; the time when we celebrate the passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. This may be the perfect time to follow the example of our students and spend some time on retreat. It could be some quiet time at home, either alone or with our family.
Perhaps it could be the Ecumenical Good Friday Service in our local community or some other prayer opportunity at one of our local churches.
No matter what we do, when we do it, or where it happens, it never hurts us to retreat. Best wishes for a blessed Easter season.
The Rev. David Cirata is the associate pastor at St. Paul Catholic Church.