It was a snowy Thursday morning when the seventh-grade girls made their way to Subiaco Retreat House for their annual class retreat. This year’s theme was focused on discovering the beauty of who they are and the fears they face that make it difficult to be themselves.
At the beginning of the retreat, each girl received a white mask. The outside of the mask represented their fears and insecurities and the things they hide behind, while the inside of the mask represented the beauty of who they truly are and how God sees them. Throughout the day, the girls went to different stations that gave them the tools and the time to reflect on the different sides of their masks. They decorated each side with colors, designs, and quotes that were meaningful to their own experiences.
One of the highlights of the retreat was spending time with Christ in adoration. Each girl had the opportunity to kneel close to the altar and talk to Jesus about how he sees them and offer him their masks. The day closed with an opportunity to share their experiences from the retreat and a celebration of who they are.
Some of the seventh graders shared their experiences:
Sarah B – “My experience at the retreat was amazing! I got to find more about myself and how to “take off” my mask. I found out about how much God loved me. I also enjoyed adoration. I got to really talk with God and find out what he has been trying to tell me. Overall, the retreat opened my heart.”
Addison – “At the retreat I learned a lot. I learned how to identify all the aspects of my mask on the inside and outside. I learned to take off my mask and to be myself in front of others and God. I also learned that I need to be more patient with other peoples’ insecurities and see people who they really are.”
Francesca – “My experience at the retreat was the best because I realize a lot of things, like it’s better to be me than to use my mask because that is the way that God created me and if that is the way that he created me I’m perfect.”
Tamara – “I really liked the retreat and especially the theme of it because it helped me to understand that I can be myself, and that I don’t have to worry if I am not perfect. During adoration, when knelt down in front of Jesus and broke my mask in two pieces, I could feel free, and I could hear Jesus telling me, “Be yourself, you are perfect.”
Natalie – “I got so much out of the retreat. It gave me confidence to not be afraid of who I am. We watched an amazing video that inspired me to speak up in front of people. One of my favorite times was adoration. I got to pray and ask Jesus to help me. I got to go up really close to Jesus and talk to him. After, I ripped a mask which felt so good because I got to get rid of all things that had been holding me back to be who I really am supposed to be. After the retreat I was so excited to go home and tell my family all about it. I recommend this to other girls because they need to learn that there are things that they should show and not be afraid.”
Ella – “Something I learned from the retreat that I went on with my class was that you can always be yourself. As the Bible says, “You are God’s masterpiece.” You were made to be you, and you are loved just the way you are.”