The retreat program offered at St. Joseph’s Prep strives to bring continued development, spiritual growth, and the Ignatian ideal of Cura Personalis – care for the whole person - to students, faculty, staff and alumni.
Our retreats are designed to provide opportunities for each retreatant to encounter Christ through community, prayer, the sacraments, and silence. As a Jesuit Preparatory School, The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola provides the foundation for all of our retreat experiences. Ignatian Spirituality has provided spiritual practices that have helped generations of people of all faiths to gain a more integrated sense of self and community.
The IGNITE Freshman Retreat introduces our incoming freshmen class to the Jesuit mission and community of St. Joseph's Prep. The retreat’s name – IGNITE – emphasizes the time our freshmen spend being introduced to the charisms and stories of St. Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits). IGNITE invites our Freshmen to think of how their time at the Prep can help them, as St. Ignatius famously said, “Go forth and set the world on fire.” More than 70 juniors and seniors, who serve as retreat small group leaders, organize and coordinate the retreat, along with nearly three dozen teachers and administrators.
All freshmen are required to attend the IGNITE Freshman Retreat which, in addition to acquainting students to the Prep’s Jesuit traditions, also helps them come to better know themselves, their relationships, their family and friends, and God.
The Montserrat Sophomore Retreat is an opportunity offered for our 10th grade students to pause, pray, and reflect on their experiences of the Prep at the midway point. In doing so, students will better understand how well they are embracing the Profile of a Graduate at Graduation so to prepare for their remaining two years at the Prep. The retreat is held off-site in preparation for the Sophomore Conversation which occurs in April and May.
The Sophomore Conversation is meant to be a formative experience midway in the life of our Prep students. It allows our sophomores the opportunity to recognize their gifts and talents to see how they might grow within the context of our shared Catholic, Jesuit mission. Each Prep colleague takes time to speak with a student in our sophomore class to explore their two years previous and offer support and guidance for the upcoming two years.
Kairos, a Greek word meaning "the Lord's time," is an intensive four-day retreat where students at the Prep open themselves up to God's love as well as the love of their family and friends. The retreat is based off of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius in order to help students better understand Ignatian Spirituality.
Kairos retreats are held in most Jesuit High Schools, many Jesuit Colleges and Universities, and numerous other Catholic High Schools around the world. The Prep has been offering Kairos retreats since 1988.
The retreat is not mandatory, however, Kairos is a foundational experience for the spiritual formation of our students. The spirit of the retreat is one of acceptance and love, and we make every effort to create this environment for our students.
As the senior class has participated in formative retreats throughout their time at the Prep, they are well prepared as leaders of Ignite, Kairos and various service opportunities. In partnership with adult leaders and the Mission & Ministry Leadership Board, the senior class is poised to mentor their brothers on their Ignatian journey.
Mission & Ministry is in the process of developing a customized retreat for the seniors.