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By: Kristin Jacobsen, Photographer

On September 7th, 2016 the freshmen boarded the bus and set off to Benedictine University for their first high school retreat. This was the first year St. Pius X had their class retreat at Benedictine, which was run by Benedictine students.

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Benedictine University’s students lead a discussion on the theology of the body with the Freshmen students to teach them about creation and how we are created in the image and likeness of God. In addition to this discussion, there was also a talk about chastity in order to prepare the students for life as teenagers. Photo by: Kristin Jacobsen

“I had a very fun group and we had a lot of jokes. The leaders of the retreat were very open to our ideas,” said Freshman Jadan Phillips.

At the retreat, there was an opening skit and various ice breakers for the students and retreat leaders to get to know each other, before the rest of the day. First, there was a chastity talk and then later a theology of the body discussion where girls and boys were split up and had small group discussions.

“I liked how we got to ask a lot of questions and got very good and relatable answers from the leaders,” said Freshman Apollonia Blando.

Many said they enjoyed being able to have more discussions within their smaller groups, making it a more personable experience.

“The small group discussions allowed the kids to be able to talk with their own gender about important issues in a safe environment,” said retreat adviser Mr. John Coakley.

The students played various games like ships and sailors and rock, paper, scissors. There was also Adoration, Confession, and Mass, which gave students the opportunity to reflect and pray on what they had learned, as well as have their sins forgiven.

“I think it was great having the retreat run by the Benedictine students,” said Mr. Coakley.

The students then finished their day with lunch in the cafeteria, which was a crowd favorite.

“I loved the food and we all had a lot of fun catching Dragonite,” said Freshman Anthony Valenciano.

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Freshmen students participated in a game called “ships and sailors” in the courtyards of Benedictine University to promote bonding and trust between classmates. This was the first year students traveled to Benedictine’s campus, as opposed to at a church located in Liberty. Photo by: Kristin Jacobsen

What is next? The Sophomore retreat will take place Tuesday, October 18th also at Benedictine.

“I don’t want to release too much information because we want it to be a surprise for the other classes,” said Mr. John Coakley.

Overall, the students really enjoyed their retreat and are excited for more retreats to come.

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