Sophomores focus on spiritual growth, social connections, and service on retreat

Sophomores focus on spiritual growth, social connections, and service on retreat

Lydia Maione, Staff writer

Archbishop Carroll sophomores gathered during a Dec. 16 school retreat to foster class bonding, work on their relationships with God and each other, and participate in community service activities  

“I believe what I, along with the two guest speakers from Stewardship Mission Rob and Luke, wanted to accomplish was successful,” said Father Mark Cavara, director of campus ministry. “However, if the sophomores decide to enforce what they learned as a part of their everyday life, it will be noticed at a later point.”

During the retreat, the sophomores traveled with their homerooms from one activity to another. Each homeroom was led by a student or two from the senior class. 

The morning began with a Mass. Father Cavara’s homily touched on the importance of coming together as a class.

Following Mass, Rob and Luke from Steward Mission gave a presentation to the Class of 2024. They are missionaries that travel to high schools to teach kids about the importance of the Catholic faith and the Eucharist. 

“The biggest thing I took away from this presentation was the explanation of what Advent really means,” said sophomore Beth Wineburg. “It also taught me that God provides a purpose for all of us in this world.”

During the afternoon, the five sophomore homerooms rotated through five stations, spending 30 minutes in each.

In one station, students had the chance to simply talk to their classmates and learn about one another in a more laid-back setting than the classroom.

The second station was a service project. The sophomores put together bags for the Sisters of Camilla Hall, a nursing home in Malvern. The goody bags consisted of candy, warm socks, and a friendly homemade letter. 

Mr. William Gennaro, Carroll’s principal, ran the third station. He opened up the conversation to get the sophomore’s input on what they wanted to change to improve their experience at Carroll for the upcoming years. Students suggested less homework. 

The fourth station was faith witness talks from seniors. Seniors who are big believers of faith guiding their lives shared their stories. 

“Getting more involved in the faith life at Carroll has made me a happier and more grateful person in general, and it also has helped me form strong and meaningful relationships with my classmates,” said senior Mary Finley. “Going on retreats like Kairos and getting involved in faith-based clubs like CSC [Community Service Corps] have been some of the main highlights of my time here at Carroll. I was so happy that I got to share my story with the sophomore students.” 

The fifth station was lunch. 

The sophomore class came together in the auditorium and did Christmas karaoke to wrap up the day. Students stood on stage either solo or with friends and sang along to the screen’s lyrics.

“I was so surprised to see people want to go up on stage and sing,” said sophomore Sarah Wood. “The way I knew my classmates prior to this day, I would have never assumed they would feel comfortable going on stage in front of the grade and just being themselves. I truly feel like I got a lot out of this retreat and am happy about it.”