Each class, grades 6-11, participates in an annual retreat that is based in the tradition of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur. Students in middle school spend a day in retreat participating in team-building activities and small group discussions connected to their religion class curriculum. Upper school classes participate in a full-day retreat off campus and meet for reflection or journaling in small groups.
The Kairos Retreat, a four-day retreat for seniors, is offered two or three times a year, depending on the size of the senior class. This is an opportunity for students to take time away from their busy lives and reconnect with their faith. It is a very special experience and while students are not required to attend, most choose to participate.
Retreat Themes by Grade
Sixth Grade Retreat
Grade 6: Introduction to the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur and the Sisterhood at Notre Dame
The Sixth Grade Retreat introduces the incoming 6th grade class to the history of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur and their charism. This retreat takes place early in the school year to encourage team building and small group discussion. During this retreat, the students are encouraged to reflect on how they can spread the Gospel message, how they can develop a deeper faith, and what they can learn about God, themselves and others. The day includes sharing, reflection, journaling and liturgy.
Seventh Grade Retreat
Grade 7: Hallmark One - “We proclaim by our lives even more than by our words that God is good.”
The Seventh Grade Retreat focuses on Hallmark One: We proclaim by our lives even more than by our words that God Is good. Saint Julie Billart once stated, “To be simple is to be like a sunflower which follows all the movements of the sun and ever turns toward it.” During this retreat, the students reflect upon the symbolic nature of the sunflower as they explore the values that ground them in their faith and the ways in which they can always seek and follow God. The day includes sharing, reflection, journaling and liturgy.
Eighth Grade Retreat
Grade 8: Hallmark Two – “We honor the dignity and sacredness of each person.”
The Eighth Grade Retreat focuses on Hallmark Two: We honor the dignity and sacredness of each person. The dignity of the person is the cornerstone of Catholic Social Teaching. The students are asked to reflect upon the belief that we are all made in the image and likeness of God, and to discuss ways they can bear witness to the dignity of each person. The day includes sharing, reflection, journaling and liturgy.
Ninth Grade Retreat
Grade 9: Introduction to the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, Saint Julie and Notre Dame sisterhood.
The Freshman Retreat introduces the incoming freshman class to the history of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur and the Charism of their foundress, Saint Julie Billart. This retreat takes place early in the school year to encourage team building, small group discussion, getting to know each other and recognizing the gifts that each member of the class has brought to Notre Dame. During this retreat, the students are encouraged to consider who they'd like to be at the end of their time at Notre Dame, and what role God will play in their journey. The day includes sharing, reflection, journaling and liturgy.
Tenth Grade Retreat
Grade 10: Hallmark Three – “We educate for and act on behalf of justice and peace in the world.”
The Sophomore Retreat focuses on Hallmark Three: We educate for and act on behalf of justice and peace in the world. During this retreat, the students are introduced to the life of Sister Dorothy Stang, a Sister of Notre Dame de Namur who was martyred in 2005. Sister Dorothy was a voice for the voiceless and spoke out for the people of Brazil. It also encourages students to focus on creativity, a part of the charism of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur. The day includes small group discussion, reflection, journaling and liturgy.
Eleventh Grade Retreat
Grade 11: Hallmark Four - “We commit our lives to community service”
The Junior Retreat focuses on Hallmark Four: We commit our lives to community service. The students are asked to reflect upon how community service is relational and how this experience enriches both those who are serving and those being served. Each student researches the topic of her choice prior to the service activity. The experience culminates in an activity where students present their topics sharing how they found God in others and how this experience impacted their faith. The day includes small group discussion, reflection, journaling and liturgy.
Grade 12: Kairos
The word Kairos comes from the Greek word meaning “God’s time.” The Kairos Retreat is a four day program for seniors. The goal of the retreat is for participants to deepen their relationship with God and grow in faith by learning more about themselves and others.
Participation in Kairos is not mandatory. However, all seniors are encouraged to attend and share in this experience. The Kairos Experience includes reflection, small group discussion, the Sacrament of Reconciliation and liturgy.
“As the sunflower turns always to the sun, so should we always turn to God.” - Saint Julie