Sophomores and juniors attend their retreats

Freshman retreat was last month; senior retreat will be in the spring

Allison Coyne, Photography & Art Editor

In the wake of the freshman retreat to the Baltimore Basilica, sophomores and juniors have begun their retreats.

The junior class is continuing to take the traditional trip to Msgr. O’Dwyer Retreat House in Sparks, Maryland. In the past, juniors have typically gone on the overnight retreat to form closer relationships with themselves, peers, and God. Senior Peer Ministers lead the event.
The sophomore retreat highlights service and giving back to the community. Small groups head to Mt. Zion United Methodist Church in Bel Air to spend a day working with adults with developmental disabilities.
According to the JC Mission Statement, students are prepared to “positively influence a global society…while being socially responsible, spiritually-centered, and morally grounded in our Catholic beliefs.”
In accordance with this mission, each grade has an opportunity to spend time with each other and the community.
Religion Teacher Ken Goedeke elaborated on the relationship between the JC mission and the retreats. “We recognize as disciples of Jesus that we have a responsibility to ourselves and others to become the best version of ourselves and empower others to do the same,” he said.
Both the sophomore and junior retreats fulfill the mission statement and work to grow the faith of students and those in need.
“Through the practice of getting away from the busyness of our lives to open our eyes to the face of Christ within ourselves and others, especially the poor and vulnerable, we are able to be transformed,” Mr. Goedeke said.
The main goal of the retreats is to simply spend time reflecting on the Catholic faith.
In a typical year, the junior retreat is an overnight event. Due to COVID limitations, however, the trip had to be shortened to a day-long event. The content included was reduced to fit into the shorter day, and the junior class spent less time together. Mr. Goedeke said, “Overall, we are adjusting the best we can to still provide our students with opportunities to get away and encounter Christ.”
The sophomore retreat has not been as heavily impacted by the safety protocols.
According to Service Learning Coordinator Susan Strawbridge, students still have the ability to spend the day playing basketball, pool, Bingo, dance games, talking, and serving food to special needs adults.
“This year more-than-ever, there are less opportunities to for these adults to get out into the community,” Mrs. Strawbridge said, emphasizing the importance of the retreat.
Sophomore Brianna Hinkleman reflected on her trip to Mt. Zion. She said, “My favorite part was playing basketball. It was inspiring to see their excitement doing something they enjoyed.”
Despite COVID limitations, Brianna still felt the impact of the trip. “It made me realize kindness is deserved by all, especially when society deems people unworthy of love,” she said.
Retreats will continue to take place throughout the months of November and December.