St. Ignatius is the patron saint of retreat programs, and every Titan makes at least one retreat a year. Our retreats are staffed by faculty and staff members and led by trained student leaders. The retreats are blessed times when students and faculty alike take time out from their busy lives to reflect on God’s influence on their lives.
Freshman Pilgrim Retreat
The Pilgrim Retreat is an overnight experience held at St. John’s Jesuit. The retreat is mandatory with the entire freshman class attending from early Thursday evening to late Friday afternoon.
Upon their arrival Thursday evening, the freshmen move through the building to their assigned rooms and small groups. Trained senior leaders direct their groups through a variety of exercises aimed at building confidence and friendships among the freshmen as well as a growing sense of God’s presence in their lives.
The retreat takes its name from the autobiography of St. Ignatius Loyola, who described himself as a pilgrim following his dramatic conversion: “In Igualada, at the foot of Montserrat he bought a garment of hemp line, a rope girdle, a pilgrim staff, a gourd, and rope sandals to protect his aching feet. It was to be his new uniform at his night's vigil before Our Lady's statue. . . . In the gray morning light the pilgrim strode down into the valley."
Sophomore Manresa Retreat
The Manresa Retreat, a two-day, overnight experience, is named for the city in Spain where St. Ignatius’ awareness of God and the beauty of all creation was heightened to the point that he devoted his life to God’s kingdom. During his conversion at Manresa, Ignatius himself tells us that “God wrought with him as a master with a schoolboy whom he teaches.” From his religious conversion at Manresa, St. Ignatius developed his spiritual classic, the Spiritual Exercises, upon which all of our retreats are based.
Sophomores continue to reflect on their relationships with their families, friends, teachers, coaches, and God.
Junior Magis Retreat
The Magis Retreat, a three-day, two-night experience, is named after the Jesuit ideal of the Magis, a phrase that means “the more.” Magis refers to the philosophy of doing more for Christ, and therefore, for others. St. Ignatius encouraged his fellow Jesuits and everyone he influenced to ask several times daily, “What have I done for Christ? What am I doing for Christ? What more can I do for Christ?”
A student/faculty team leads the retreat group to form a Christian community centered on the teachings of Jesus Christ. A variety of small- and large-group activities helps retreatants to reflect on the qualities of discipleship and Christian leadership and their own progress as disciples of Christ.
Senior Kairos Retreat
Kairos, meaning “The Lord’s Time,” is often cited by seniors as one of the defining moments of their experience as Titans. Students leave on Tuesday afternoon for the four-day, three-night experience and return late Friday afternoon. A student/faculty team leads the retreat group to form a Christian community centered on the teachings of Jesus Christ.
Based on the flow of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola, the Kairos retreat helps retreatants come to see themselves as loved sinners, errant children who are nevertheless deeply and unconditionally loved by their Creator. Students and faculty develop a deep appreciation of God’s blessings on their lives and their families within the context of an authentic Christian community.