Senior retreats to continue, but with changes

Events are added as number of participants is reduced


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A basket in the faculty workroom in Kelly Hall provides teachers a place to drop off letters to senior retreat participants.

Tory Basile, Reporter

With the challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic, the fate of many traditions, including senior retreat, feel as if they are in a little bit of limbo.

Mrs. Sarah Bozelli-Levine, assistant campus minister, reflected on the first senior retreat of the school year and summarized what she anticipates for the future of senior retreats this year. 

Bozzelli-Levine noted that, for the well-being of both students and staff, this year’s senior retreats will adhere to both school safety standards as well as standards implemented by Saint Joseph’s retreat center of Tipton, location at which retreats have been hosted in previosu year. Students took their temperatures before arriving, remained masked and distanced themselves, and stuck with their small groups. 

This year, the retreat center has limited the guest count to a maximum of 40 students, whereas in the past there has been up to 60 retreat members at once. To account for the impacts of these restrictions, Bozelli-Levine said, “We’ve added two more retreats, so we’re having seven total retreats this year,” for which seniors can still sign up.

She explained that there were, as she said, “logistics we had to get over” to make the retreats a possibility, but says that in the end the retreats, because they serve a vital mission for the school, were doable. 

We’re hoping that everybody stays safe and well, and we’ll be able to continue.”

— Mrs. Sara Bozzelli-Levine

Of the retreat itself, Bozzelli-Levine believes the September retreat “worked beautifully. We had a beautiful retreat. We’re hoping that everybody stays safe and well, and we’ll be able to continue.”

She said she feels that, despite changes, the students’ experience was compromised in no way. Commenting that “the Holy Spirit works double time on retreat,” Bozelli-Levine emphasized that those in attendance felt a real spiritual presence.

Ultimately, though plans for the future of retreat may remain ambiguous given Covid complications, Bozzelli-Levine said that as of now, campus ministry is “taking everything as we go.”

She said, “Last year’s last retreat was canceled because of Covid. That was sad, (as) you can’t find those days again.” Bozelli-Levine called for seniors to take advantage of the opportunity to participate in a retreat, especially since it’s so difficult to guarantee experiences like it anymore.