Retreat Program

Every boy in the senior school at St Kevin’s takes part in a retreat every year. In Year 7, the retreat day introduces boys to Edmund Rice and the spirituality of the school and in Year 8 it takes them into the history of our faith community, including a visit to both the streets familiar to Mary Mackillop as well as St Patrick’s Cathedral ; In Year 9 we are glad of the help of mentors from Year 11 as we think about some of the challenges we meet as people developing a mature faith. The annual retreat for Year 12 at Newman College is a time to bring the group together at the start of the year and challenge them once again to develop a vision that is larger than themselves and, as we visit Melbourne General Cemetery, larger even than life. A number of boys in Year 12 also take part in an optional ministry retreat organised by Mr Chris Straford. 

The head of the Christian Brothers in the world, Br Philip Pinto, speaks often about moving to the edges of society in order to find Christ. Over the last couple of years, our Year 10 boys have been involved in a day-long retreat experience which involves spending time in parts of Melbourne they seldom see. In particular, they visit areas with significant groups of recently arrived refugees, hear the stories of some of those people and spend time in the primary schools where some newly arrived children are beginning to find their way in Australian culture. The day also involves lunch in one of those fine cafes which bear witness to the cultural brew which produces such delicacies as ‘kangaroo with satay sauce.’
   
One of the great events on the spiritual calendar at St Kevin’s is the annual Year Eleven Retreat, known affectionately as the Christian Living Camp. In the middle of August, about 500 students and 50 teachers head off to ten separate venues for three days of prayer and reflection. The focus of the retreat is on developing adult relationships and this means making decisions about the way we relate to our family, ourselves, members of the other gender and most of all the way we relate to God. They are wonderful days and a privilege to share with our young people, the overwhelming majority of whom welcome the experience with openness and generous hearts. Staff and students all speak about how retreats such as this enlarge both their faith and their sense of life’s possibilities. St Kevin’s is grateful to Loreto Mandeville Hall, Sacre Coeur and Korowa Anglican Girls School for sharing this adventure with us.

We don’t believe in an abstract God. Our retreat program challenges boys at every year level to form a relationship with God as the most life-giving way to take their place in the real world.