Junior women prepare for overnight

Mary Stempky, Reporter

Since 1992, the junior women’s overnight retreat has brought girls together for a night of bonding, and 30 members of the Class of 2018 were scheduled to participate in such an event today.

Junior Emily Wysocki said she signed up because she has enjoyed all the previous retreats the school has offered and her sister, Bethany Wysocki ’11, suggested she attend.  “(My) older sister highly recommended it, ” Wysocki said.

According to theology teacher Mrs. Sara Koehler, the retreat was inspired by Bishop Chatard, which had one of its own. “The main idea was that boys and girls went on separate retreats. (Cathedral) thought there (were) some real advantages to this idea and (has) found this to be true,” Koehler wrote in an email.

In an email, Sr. Susan Marie Lindstrom, OSB, a Bishop Chatard theology teacher, said her school has conducted its junior girls retreat for at least 35 years, but over time it has changed. Chatard’s retreats also differ from programs here because students miss only one day of school, with the bulk of the program taking place on the weekend to reduce the amount of instruction students miss and then have to make up.  

Lindstrom’s first year, each group would be named for a saint and focus on that particular saint’s values. “For the last 12 years, however, the focus has been on relationships: with God, self and others,” Lindstrom wrote in the email.

One relationship that grows during this retreat is that of the junior and her senior leader.

Senior Maggie McNulty said she went on the retreat last year and wanted to be a senior leader because of her JWO leaders, Savannah Louderback ’16 and Julia White ’16, were inspiring and taught her ways to forge new connections. “(Louderback and White) showed me how to make new friends. I was hoping I could be a leader this year so I could do the same and make it a good experience for the juniors,” McNulty said

According to assistant campus minister Mrs. Sherry Kaminskas, this care for the younger students is what she loves about interacting with the seniors. “I see in them their real true love of the junior girls,” Kaminskas said.

The retreat takes place at CYO Camp Rancho Framasa in Nashville, Indiana. According to Koehler, the facility has great food and accommodations and provides an appropriate venue for the event. “It’s an excellent place to go,”Koehler said.

The location also provides scenery that differs from urban Indianapolis. “It’s out in nature, which I feel brings you closer to God,” Kaminskas said.  

And that closer relationship with God may help participants build relationships with their peers.