Retreats are a beloved tradition at Holy Child – a chance to step away from the ordinary pace of the school year, to spend time in community, to pray, reflect, and develop a personal response to God’s love.
All members of our Holy Child community participate in retreats each year. Each class has a retreat, intentionally planned for that age and stage of their development and relationship with God and others. Faculty and staff also participate in an annual retreat, and alumnae are invited to a morning of reflection to take this time away to pause and pray. These are favorite times of the year for our students and opportunities we find that they look forward to.
Our retreat program spans from sixth to twelfth grade and includes student peer leadership, with students in older grades serving as retreat leaders and mentors to younger students. Teams of faculty and staff help as chaperones and facilitators in partnership with the Campus Ministry staff.
6th & 7th Grade Retreat
The 6th and 7th grades have a combined one-day retreat off campus, which includes Mass, games and activities, small group reflection and conversation, journal writing, food, laughter, and fun. The theme alternates every other year between “Friendship with others and with God," and “Beauty: Recognizing ourselves as God’s beloved daughters."
10th Grade Retreat
The sophomore retreat is an overnight camping experience hosted at Calleva Farm, complete with tents! Students experience team building, ropes course elements, and have an experience out of their comfort zones, learning to rely on one another. The retreat theme is “Beauty," and students use these days to look for the best in their classmates and offer affirmations. Large group and small group reflection (around the bonfire) are central to this experience.
8th Grade Retreat
The 8th grade enjoys an overnight retreat, with the opportunity to spend more time together, reflecting on this final year of middle school, and looking to the future. The theme for the retreat varies each year, based on the Bible verse that the girls pick as their verse for the year. The retreat includes prayer, journaling, music, games, team building exercises, and lots of food and fun.
11th Grade Retreat
The juniors experience Kairos, a transformative retreat program used by schools across the country, to deepen their relationships with God and other, and to grow as women of faith in action. A unique aspect to Holy Child is that the entire junior class experiences the retreat together in community. A team of seniors as well as faculty and staff leaders serve as facilitators for this retreat. Many alumnae tell us that Kairos is their most memorable high school experience.
9th Grade Retreat
The freshman retreat tradition at Holy Child goes with one of the school’s themes “Believe. Belong. Become.” This overnight “lock-in” on campus allows 9th graders to come to know one another and the school community, and to consider how they can invite God into their high school years. The retreat always promises lots of fun and laughter!
12th Grade Retreat
The senior retreat theme of “Gratitude and Hope” invites students to look back over their lives with gratitude, including their high school years together, and to look to the future with hope, confident that God goes with them on the next part of the journey. It is usually complete with laughter and tears, and much reminiscing!
As Holy Child values these retreat days and generously gives students these day off of classes, the same is true for Holy Child faculty and staff. An annual spiritual retreat provides a day to put aside other responsibilities and to pray, learn, and celebrate community. Recent retreat guest speakers and Mass celebrants have included Fr. Jim Greenfield, OSFS and Msgr. John Enzler of Catholic Charities DC.