Year 12 Retreat at Benedict XVI Retreat center

17 June 2022

On the 30th and 31st of May, Year 12 had the opportunity to spend two days at Benedict XVI Retreat center. It was an excellent opportunity to take a break from the work and responsibilities of Year 12 by spending time with each other, forging new friendships, and reflecting on our faith. Read Sara's account of the retreat below!

On the first day, we had the privilege of listening to Daniel Assaf, a Redfield graduate, talk about “What on earth am I here for?” In this, we learned about our vocation and how we’re all on Earth for a reason. We were inspired to look for our purpose and learned that even though we may not find it overnight, we will eventually know once we are where God wants us to be.  

In the second session, Mr. Assaf talked to us about “Fearless Fortitude.” In this, we listened to his story of how he found what he was called for and the faith it took to move from the business life to offering leadership and personal development programs targeted toward youth and young professionals. Listening to this was especially motivating for us Year 12s as we consider the future that lies ahead of us after school.

Year 12 also had the privilege to attend mass and confession, led by Father Paul, who later talked to us about “Inner wounds” that are created from past hardships. Fr Paul helped us understand the wounds in our own lives that are preventing us from moving forward, and how we can heal them.

On the second day, we were lucky to listen to Simon Carrington, who provided a talk on “How to date with passion and fortitude.” Mr. Carrington talked about what makes relationships healthy, and how they are built on trust and honesty from all individuals. Listening to this was really interesting for us as it is something we have all been curious about in religion lessons. 

There were also multiple opportunities to go to mass, adoration, confession, or just spend time in the beautiful chapel in quiet prayer. Many girls took advantage of these to grow closer with God and build their faith. 

The Year 12 grade was definitely brought even closer together as we participated in activities and games, such as the human chair trust activity, where we all sat in a circle and laid back on each other, and teachers removed the chairs from under us. While it was scary at first, we were all able to hold each other up without chairs for a few seconds! This as well as other activities allowed us to deepen our relationship with one another and bonding together as one, just as our Year 12 motto suggests; Unity Prevails. Over the two days, each girl wrote affirmations and encouraging letters to each other that we read on our way home. It’s safe to say that many tears were shed as we were all reminded of our strong and unifying bond that we often forget when we are caught up in our daily life. 

In going to this retreat, we were able to take a step back from our ongoing school work and preparation for exams and remind ourselves of the goal we are working towards. These two days allowed us to envision a life where our gifts and talents are used to help others, alongside supportive friends and family and our faith to accompany us on our way through life.   

Sara H, Year 12