Jacob Matos ‘23
As a senior of Salesian High School, who attended all of my grade-level retreats and was given the opportunity to volunteer as a leader of the retreat, it’s safe to deem the 2022 Sophomore Retreat a success. Throughout the course of a school year, each grade-level is given a retreat in efforts to strengthen the brotherly bond that is created the first time entering the doors of Salesian. Additionally, not only does grade-level retreats strengthen the brotherly bond of a graduating class, but also teaches a moral lesson that each individual takes from the day and implements into their daily lives. November 18th, 2022 was a day filled with interactive games, a witness talk, deep discussions, laughter, and mass.
The day started with the sophomore class being given a detailed overview of the day, an introduction of the student and faculty volunteers, and setting a couple rules. One particular rule being no phones allowed for the entirety of the day. This rule wasn’t put in place as a punishment, but rather as a way to ensure the students remain present during the retreat, so that they may take a lesson from it and bond with their fellow classmates as well. The students were told the sermon of “The Road to Emmaus,” and the focal point of the day was where do they hear the voice and God, and how will the sophomores rise up to the occasion as upperclassmen. After all was said and done, we walked to Holy Name of Jesus school gym and commenced the retreat with three ice breaker games, and a witness talk given by Matthew Tirabasso ‘23 in the cafeteria.
Once the witness talk concluded, the sophomores were broken into seven groups for small group discussions pertaining to the sermon of “The Road To Emmaus,” and what they took away from the witness talk. Another small group discussion was held after the sophomores watched a short film, and we talked about their interpretations and takeaways of the video. Next, the sophomores went to lunch and recreation to experience the playground pillar of Salesian High School. The last activity for the retreat was a team-building activity that tasked the sophomores with building a bridge out of marshmallow and spaghetti, and the group winner received pizza for lunch when they returned to school.
The sophomore retreat concluded with mass, which allowed the students to reflect on their time at the retreat. As a volunteer for this retreat, I asked some of the participants how their experience of their day was, and I heard nothing but good feedback. I’m glad another graduating class experienced a good retreat that allowed them to reflect on their role in Salesian High School, allowing new leaders to rise to the occasion and fill this year’s leaders’ shoes when it comes the time for us to leave.