During the school year, each student will be given the opportunity to participate in a grade-level retreat. The class retreat is designed to cultivate community and encourage students to explore their faith more fully. Retreats are planned by our CYM and staff and implemented with the Animas Retreat Committee.
Seniors students are invited to the Kairos retreat, an incredible opportunity to experience God’s profound love. During this four-day, three-night experience, students have a chance to more fully develop and articulate their spiritual experience with the support of friends, family, and community members. Senior students witness the power of a lived relationship with God through Christ in a unique setting which removes them from their typical routine and allows them to experience Kairos, a term that comes from the Greek word meaning “God’s time.” Many seniors who have experienced the retreat regard it as a life-changing experience and comment on the effects the journey has made on their relationships to family, friends, and their St. Francis community.
The Junior Ekklesia retreat, which is typically offered in the spring, is an opportunity for each student to recognize the place to which they are called by God, their community, and their own gifts. Ekklesia is derived from the Greek term “called out,” and was first used to describe members of the Church in its early days. Juniors are given the opportunity to reflect on how their personal gifts enable them to recognize their calling. This retreat falls within the time frame of a regular school day.
The Sophomore Koinonia Retreat is a day of community service. Koinonia is a Greek word meaning to be in communion, to be with fellow Christians. The early church community, described by St. Luke in the book of Acts, came together to pray, worship, and work for the benefit of those most in need. The sophomores are called to explore the communities in their lives and the relationship each one has to these communities - class, family, friends, school, and community. This retreat falls within the time frame of a regular school day.
Freshmen are invited to Animas, a retreat which enables students to experience their place within the St. Francis community. The patron of the Salesian order is St. John Bosco. Bosco’s educational philosophy provides the framework for our St. Francis High School community, and is reflected in his motto: “Da mihi animas caetera tolle,” which is Latin for “Give me souls, take away the rest.” Animas, the Latin word for soul, is used by Bosco to describe the essence of each person, that which animates him or her. Each freshman has the opportunity during this daylong retreat to explore his or her own individual gifts and talents and what part they will play as a unique individual in the St. Francis community. This retreat falls within the time frame of a regular school day.