At Chevalier College, every student is offered the opportunity to engage in our retreat program which is carefully designed to be sequential for students to experience intellectually, affectively and sacramentally God’s love at work in their lives.
Students value these retreat opportunities and appreciate the purpose of retreats in deepening their spirituality. A key feature of the three senior retreats is the involvement of the staff, who share aspects of their understanding of God’s presence in their lives, and this sharing has a deep and lasting impact on the student’s own search for meaning.
RETREAT OUTLINES – YEARS 7 to 12
Year 7 Retreat – “The Heart of Chevalier”
During this retreat, students are introduced to the MSC story and to Heart Spirituality. The aim of this retreat is to offer students an opportunity to articulate and interpret what they have experienced of the ‘Spirit of Chevalier’. They are given language to describe their experience and offered an opportunity to integrate Heart Spirituality into every aspect of their life within the College.
Year 8 Retreat – “The Heart of the Family”
This retreat invites the students into a deeper identification with their MSC heritage and family. It is situated at the beginning of a unit of work on Heart Spirituality and is (along with Sacred Heart Day) the experiential entry point for an exploration of the theology of Heart Spirituality. Students are given an opportunity to experience and explore the heart of the MSCs, St Mary’s Towers, Douglas Park, to meet current brothers and priests and to learn about and reverence the priests and brothers of the past.
Year 9 Retreat – “Gifts of God’s Creation”
‘I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me.’ (Isaiah 49:14-16) This retreat invites students to develop a deeper appreciation for gifts of God’s creation. Specifically, exploring Gods beauty in the water, sea, air and sky. The retreat is based at Fitzroy Falls and also challenges students in initiative games and the giant swing.
Year 10 Retreat – “The Heart Inside – Be True to Yourself”
At this retreat students are encouraged to turn their attention inward to their ‘true selves’ and to recognise that they have been made in the image and likeness of God. The retreat begins with initiative and challenge activities in self-selected and mixed gender groups. Following these activities the students are separated by gender and each group is led through a program that invites them to explore their own hearts and to experience their God as they come to understand themselves more fully.
Year 11 Retreat – “Gifts of the Heart”
Students are offered an opportunity to consider more fully the meaning and purpose of their life, the choices they make and the consequences of those choices. They are challenged to reflect on the individualistic and materialistic values that surround them and to make deliberate resolutions about their life direction and purpose. Their heart is being defined not just as gifts and talents but as the goodness at the core of their being which is the spirit of God animating their lives. The presence of God is often experienced as a longing for fulfillment and purpose deep in the heart and this hunger is the call of God.
Year 12 Retreat – “The Heart’s Journey”
This retreat invites students to reflect on the presence of God in their lives through the good and the bad times. This presence is also experienced through our relationships with each other. Students are encouraged to reflect on their life’s journey thus far, and to consider how, if at all, they perceive God as being with them. Students are invited to consider the reality of what may lie ahead of them, including the challenges, the dark times and the times when they make mistakes; and to reflect on the potential for transformation that exists in the obstacles and difficulties they will encounter, especially when they acknowledge the presence of God with them. They are reminded that MSC people believe that God is with us always and, no matter what, they will never be separated from the love of God. They are also reminded that they are surrounded by people who are journeying with them and are prepared to help them.