Mary Help of Christians Academy

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Mary Help Students Design and Lead Retreat for their Teachers

Borrowing an idea from the Academy's brother school, Don Bosco Prep of Ramsey, students in the Senior Leadership course took the initiative to design and lead a retreat for the faculty and staff of their school. After weeks of planning and work, the Senior Leadership students welcomed the faculty and staff for their retreat at Sacred Heart Spirituality Center in Newton, NJ. The Senior Leadership Class is made up of senior students who are distinguished for their leadership ability and Salesian spirit. This year’s Senior Leadership class, who designed the retreat, include Alexandra, Paula, Clare, and Senarche.

The retreat offered the faculty and staff the theme image of a rock, while asking them to be, “Strong as Rock, Sent to Strengthen the Young.” The students blended witness talks, team building activities, Eucharistic Adoration, and small group discussion time into a schedule that permitted the faculty and staff the space and environment to reflect upon their vocation as Catholic educators and how they find and give strength within their ministry. 

“I really enjoyed giving back to our teachers in this way. I wasn’t sure if they would get anything out of what we put together since we have never done anything like this before, but I was so happy to hear them share at the end that the retreat really helped them,” reflected senior Alexandra Fontanella. Summarizing the impact of the day, principal Sr. Marisa DeRose, FMA, offered that, “This is a very Salesian experience for us, as a Salesian school. In our spirituality, we don’t become holy in spite of the young, but with them. This is exactly what we should be doing! We are grateful to the students for creating this experience for all of us.”