Overview of Retreat Experiences
Campus Ministry provides each student the opportunity to experience a yearly class retreat. Retreat experiences are facilitated by the Campus Ministry Team, various Faculty/Staff Members and Peer Ministers. Campus Ministry strives to meet the spiritual and developmental need of the students.
Padua has the most comprehensive retreat program in the area. Students will participate in a retreat every year that focuses on developing relationships with each other and God. We are in our 18th year of offering the Kairos Retreat to our Juniors. Senior year, students can choose from eight different retreat options, from backpacking and biking to canoeing and hiking.
Summary of Annual Retreats
The Freshman Retreat is a one day retreat that has a focus on each student’s relationship with Family, Friends, Self, and God. The retreat is a witness-based retreat. Discussions follow the various student witnesses. This retreat is led by Faculty and Peer Ministers and is held during the second semester. The class is split into two groups with each group attending a one day retreat.
The Sophomore Retreat is a one day retreat with a theme of Discipleship. Students explore how each of us is called to be the hands and feet of Christ in the world. The class is split into two groups with each group attending a one day retreat.
Junior and senior Peer Ministers facilitate small group discussions and activities.
We explore I Corinthians 12:12-27 and reflect on the idea that we are all part of the Body of Christ. We may have different talents and gifts but the same spirit gifts us all.
This experience helps the juniors to understand some of the causes of discrimination and gives them some tools in understanding others.
Students also are given the challenge to not pre-judge others, but rather to see others through the eyes of the Lord.
Kairos Retreat (open to juniors)
The 3 night/4 day retreat is held at the Jesuit Retreat House in Parma. It is a witness-based retreat (given by faculty and administrators) and lead by a senior Kairos team.
Campus Ministry offers seniors a choice of nine venues for their required retreat experience while at Padua. Many of the activities come from Deacon Bob Grgic’s book, Resources for Outdoor Retreats, published by St. Mary’s Press.
Most senior retreats begin about 8 a.m. and end about 8 p.m. Please plan your work schedules accordingly. No late arrivals nor early departures. All the Senior Retreats offer common experiences which will be set in the context of the individual retreat settings. Mass with Fr. Allan DaCorte, ofm is one of the high points of each of the retreats.
Art and Photography
Students are given an opportunity to reflect on God’s presence in nature through the lens of art and photography. Community building activities and art experiences create a powerful retreat experience.
There is no charge for this retreat.
What do you carry throughout your journey in life? The Backpacking Retreat helps students reflect on what they carry in their heart as they travel the journey of high school and embark on their journey into the future. The Backpacking Retreat challenges the students to hike about 8 miles.
Students and faculty hike together on the trail. This retreat is a time for seniors to reflect on what they want to carry from high school into the future and what burdens they no longer wish to carry.
The retreat will be held in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.
The Biking Retreat is another journey motif retreat. Seniors reflect on their journey through high school.
Faculty and students bike together, stopping occasionally to hear a witness talk which helps students reflect on God’s love.
Fr. Allan DaCorte, ofm leads a healing service that focuses on the ministry of St. Clare. This retreat invites the students to consider what they have learned at Padua Franciscan High School, the people who have influenced them, the memories they treasure and want to hold on to, and those things they wish to leave behind.
You do need a bike, helmet and a way to get your bike to the retreat site.
This retreat will be held on the Metroparks Towpath.
There is no charge for this one day retreat.
The Canoeing Retreat is also a journey motif retreat. Seniors are invited to reflect on their life as they paddle down 9 miles of the Grand River in Harpersfield, Ohio. They are invited to contemplate the experience of the river and how this experience reflects everyday life. Lunch will be during the canoe trip itself. Dinner and discussions on the day will take place at a local parish.
Transportation is provided from Padua to the retreat site. There is a $35.00 charge for this retreat.
Seniors are invited to reflect on their life through the experience of the High Ropes Course at Camp Cheerful in Strongsville. Team building takes place through low ropes initiatives as well as the High Ropes Course.
Students are invited to look back on their life thus far and gain courage to ‘let go’ and rely on the ‘belay systems’ of their lives as they begin the next stage of their lives after high school.
The cost for this retreat is $30.00.
Girls of Grace/Female Spirituality
The Girls of Grace Retreat helps young women to reflect on what it means to be a woman of God. Seniors are invited to reflect on what they have learned at Padua Franciscan High School. They consider the people that have influenced their lives and who helped to form them into the women that they are today.
The seniors are given a chance to reflect on what they wish to carry with them into the future as well as reflect on the things in their lives they wish to leave behind.
The senior women are asked to pause and prayerfully consider the type of person they wish to be in the future and how they are working towards that goal today.
There is a $70 charge for this retreat.
Faculty and students hike together, stopping occasionally to hear a witness talk which helps students to reflect on God’s love. Students are invited to experience a healing service that focuses on the ministry of St. Clare.
The Retreat invites the students to consider what they have learned at Padua Franciscan High School, the people who have influenced them, the memories they treasure and want to hold on to, as well as those things they wish to leave behind.
This retreat will be held at Cuyahoga Valley National Park.
There is no charge for this one day retreat.
The Male Spirituality Retreat helps senior men to reflect on what it means to be a man of God. Seniors are invited to reflect on what they have learned at Padua Franciscan High School. They consider the people that have influenced their lives and who helped to form them into the men they are today.
The seniors are given a chance to reflect on what they wish to carry with them into the future as well as the things in their lives they wish to leave behind.
The senior men are asked to prayerfully discern the type of person they wish to be in the future and how they are working towards that goal today. A High Ropes Course experience is part of this retreat experience. The retreat is at Camp Cheerful in Strongsville.
The cost of this overnight retreat is $120.
The Reflections Retreat is held at Camp Cheerful in Strongsville.
The seniors who attend this retreat experience are invited to ‘reflect’ on their lives thus far. Where have you been? Where are you going? What is important to you? What needs to be left behind? What do you carry with you after high school and into the future? Who are the people who have helped form you into the person you are today?
These seniors experience various activities as well as listen to witnesses which help them to reflect on God’s love. The labyrinth experience is part of this retreat.
There is no charge for this retreat. Students provide their own transportation to Camp Cheerful.