Retreats at SI
We all know the importance of getting away from the hectic pace of life and finding time to pray, to reflect and to deepen our knowledge and love of ourselves and of God.
Since the school's founding, teachers and campus ministers have shared the Ignatian way of praying with our students. We offer four separate retreat experiences, each tailored for the four classes at SI — freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors. Read about each program below and contact SI's Director of Campus Ministry, Sr. Sharon Brannen, FdCC, or Director of Formation, Chad Evans, for more information.
The Cura Freshmen Formation Program is rooted in the Jesuit ideal of cura personalis, care for the whole person. Cura groups welcome students and support their transition into St. Ignatius. Throughout freshman year, students develop a deeper sense of personal identity and communal belonging in order to grow toward the Grad at Grad.
Philosophy of the Cura Formation Program
The Church's central vision for Catholic education "...aims at the formation of the human person in the pursuit of his [her] ultimate end." Simply stated- education is formation.
‘Formation’ is the process by which a person becomes who they have been called by God to be. The formation process is concerned with the complete human person and, consequently, is driven by a single question: “Who are you becoming?” The SI Cura Program is the intentional, systematic direction of the complete freshmen experience toward the end of developing the whole person, body and soul, and facilitating each student toward the Grad at Grad.
Central to that formation are relationships. Personalization of the formation environment – enabling students to know well, and be known well by at least one adult in their school will lead to a deeper experience. Cura groups will advance achieving personalized growth by building supportive relationships between students and mentors, and among students.
Outcomes of the Cura Program
The program’s primary goal of student growth toward the Grad at Grad is supported by:
- Facilitating a healthy transition to SI
- Creating community with peers and an adult
- Developing an understanding of Ignatian Spirituality
- Promoting wellness and healthy habits
Overarching Enduring Understandings
- Every student has inherent dignity regardless of background, sexuality, ethnicity, and economic circumstances.
- SI educates the whole person: mind, spirit, body.
- SI values diverse religious backgrounds and experiences.
- The SI community needs their gifts and talents, active participation, and loving care.
- Self-knowledge and self-determination requires ongoing work; high school is an ongoing process of coming to know oneself.
- The Cura program is housed within Campus Ministry, and is directed by a Campus Ministry staff member.
- Every student will be assigned to a group of approximately 10-13 freshmen and an adult leader.
- Each group will meet once a week for 40 minutes in the first half of the extended resource period (on Monday or Tuesday) throughout the year.
- Each group will meet in a dedicated sacred space.
- Administrators, teachers, and staff serve as one of the adult leaders.
St. Anthony Service Plunge
Our sophomore students are given the opportunity for two days to reflect on how they are "with" others. This Thursday-Friday experience begins with a day of service at the St. Anthony Foundation. The days involve service, self examination, group discussion, and sharing of their own experiences. The retreat is lead by our Senior leadership team along with our faculty. Thursday begins at 8:00 in front of our school, and ends by 8:00 PM. Parents are expected to join us for dinner at 6:30 PM. The retreat continues on Friday at FML at 8:00 AM and concludes by 2 PM. This retreat is mandatory. Students are excused from classes and activities, but must complete any assignments by arrangement with instructors. Sophomores are assigned to a retreat by their Sophomore Religious Studies Class.
In Junior year, the S.I. student is given the opportunity to expand their awareness of their world through an intense community experience in an overnight retreat held at El Retiro Retreat Center in Los Altos, Vallombrosa Retreat Center in Menlo Park or San Damiano Retreat Center in Danville. The retreat begins with self examination, then transitions into a look at our community, ending with a look at each students commitment to building the Kingdom of God. It is when we are Fully Alive that we then can begin to build the Kingdom of God. The day involves self examination, group discussion, and sharing of their own experiences.
The retreat is lead by our Senior leadership team along with our faculty. The day begins at 8:15 a.m. in front of our school and continues to the next day, returning to school by 4:30 p.m. Students are excused from classes and activities, but must complete any assignments by arrangement with instructors. Juniors have an opportunity to select a retreat date during orientation week.
The Kairos Retreat Program has been in existence since 1965. It was originally adapted from the Christian Awakening Program designed by a team of priests, religious, and lay people. They planned and worked on the program for one year under the direction of Rev. Douglas L. Brown of the Diocese of Brooklyn, N.Y.. Kairos was modeled after the Cursillo retreat but adapted for teenagers. In 1968, it was been adopted by St. Xavier High School in Louisville through the ministry of Brother Bill Riegel (who worked with the Brooklyn Program), Brother Martin Moran of the Diocese of Richmond, and from Brothers Gerard Boylan, Richard Angarola and Edward Driscoll.
Since the Cursillo movement has roots in Ignatian spirituality, many Jesuits schools eventually incoporated the program into their retreat programs. From St. Xavier in Louisville the program was adapted for Jesuit high schools by faculty from St. Ignatius High School in Chicago, IL including our own Rita Dollard- O'Malley, SI's Director of Adult Spirituality. Several modifications particular to SI's program have been made over the years. It is the opinion of the facilitators of the Kairos program at SI that these changes promote the faith and life of the students at our school and have emerged from the experience of implementing this program. Moreover, more specific Ignatian language and themes have been highlighted in the SI program. Furthermore, student leadership and training has developed extensively since an adaptation of the program was first attempted at SI.
Please pray by name for our students who will enter the Kairos retreat program this year!