By Jhoanna Co
For the Umatuna Si Yu’os
“I learned that God really loves us.”
“I liked that we got to know more about our classmates, their lives.”
“I like the activities… they taught us more about God.”
These were some reflections of fourth grade students at Santa Barbara Catholic School who were first to experience a retreat this academic year held on Aug. 29 and 31, 2017.
SBCS conducts retreats annually as part of the school’s Faith Formation program, and students from 4th to 8th grade are able to participate after they’ve received the sacraments of Penance and Eucharist usually during 3rd grade.
Retreats are designed to help students form and deepen their relationship with God and one another, as well as to strengthen the Mercy charism of the school.
The themes that the school adapts are grounded on the following Mercy Core Values (common to Mercy Schools all over the Institute of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas): Dignity of the Human Person, Compassion, Justice, and Stewardship of the Earth.
“The most helpful part was when we all sat down together and prayed as a family,” said one student.
“I learned that God’s love is stronger than any love in the world,” said another. At the end of the day, the students came away from the retreat refreshed and centered on God.