By Raymond Costanzo ’20
The adjustment to a brand new school can be intimidating to underclassman at any school, let alone a place with such high academic standards like Chaminade High School. However, to ease this transition, freshmen participate in the A.D.O.R.E. retreat.
The A.D.O.R.E retreat stands for “A Day of Retreat Experience.” The retreat gives students the opportunity to discuss various topics, ranging from important social and moral issues to facets of the Catholic faith.
This exploration takes place at Chaminade’s retreat house Saragossa, named after the town in Spain where Blessed William Joseph Chaminade took refuge during the French Revolution. The serene and prayerful environment at Saragossa helps students deepen their spiritual lives with the assistance of experienced upperclassmen and teachers. Throughout the day, the students discuss ways to maintain a meaningful life of faith amid the stresses and obligations of high school. These conversations serve as catalysts to foster the development of students’ relationships with God and their classmates that will continue to expand during their four years at Chaminade.
The Director of Campus Ministry, Mr. Michael Foley ’99, spoke about the goals of the retreat, explaining, “There are two main purposes of the A.D.O.R.E retreat. The first is that the students grow together as a homeroom and get to know each other. The second is that they begin to grow in their relationship with God and ask the question, ‘Who am I in God’s eyes?’”
At the very end of the retreat, the students join together in prayer to speak to God during an hour of Eucharistic Adoration. This solemn time is an opportune moment for students to reflect on the day’s lessons and receive penance.
The retreat was extremely beneficial and inspiring for many freshmen. Matthew Aljader ’22 exclaimed, “The A.D.O.R.E treat was a really great experience. It was nice to take a break from all my school work and spend some time getting to know my classmates.”
As these freshmen continue to embark on new adventures, the connections with God that the A.D.O.R.E. retreat strengthened will provide a continuing source of comfort.