Retreat for Resilience
By: Blathnaid Heaney ’19
It was a day of prayer. A day of fun and friendship. It was a day of listening and learning. A day of growing as individuals and of bonding as a class.
The newest members of the Notre Dame community were guided through a day-long retreat by the Christian Leaders with a new theme geared towards promoting resilience and friendship.
Planned for weeks in advance, the Christian Leaders dedicated their time to ensure that the Freshman retreat would be one to remember and enjoy.
Elizabeth Gonzales ‘18, a Christian Leader, said, “We really worked from start to finish on coming up with the best ways to get the freshmen to feel as comfortable as possible, and on how to make this retreat the best experience for them.”
Split into groups, the freshman were assigned a Christian Leader for the day. Their activities included getting to know you games, group discussions and collaborative outdoor games. Gonzales said, “We worked on everything from icebreakers, to writing personal stories to share, to writing thank you cards for teachers and staff.”
This Freshman retreat was different from previous years in that it deviated from the usual focus of friendship. Instead, resilience, particularly resilience in real life situations, became the theme.
This became the new focal point of the retreat since the Christian Leaders felt that it was a skill students would need throughout their high school experience. Their lives will be filled with multiple transitions, changes, and stresses which will require determination and zeal to overcome.
In order to explain the importance of resilience, many teachers and administrators presented their own personal stories of times when they were faced with situations requiring perseverance.
According to Lila Harvey ‘21, “The teachers’ stories helped show me that life has obstacles but we have to overcome them to improve.”
The freshmen heard an important message–one that everyone can apply to their lives.
Lord, please help me to rise
above my current challenges,
To be patient yet resilient in affliction,
To be inspired and to inspire others
as Holy Cross men and women.