Class of 2020 to return to Camp Pondo for its final retreat

By Eduardo Landa, Staff Writer

As the Class of 2020 embarks on the last lap of its high school race, seniors will be having their final retreat from Monday January 6 through Wednesday, January 8, at Camp Pondo, 31324 Green Valley Lake Rd, Running Springs, CA.  This location is very significant because it was the same location where these students experienced KAIROS, the impactful junior retreat.

“I believe that since the retreat will be in the same place as KAIROS, it is a way to finish what we started last year,” said senior Jayden Brownlee.

A key takeaway of the KAIROS retreat is the admonition to “Live the Fourth,” which is to continue the spirit and brotherhood of the retreat and the discoveries made beyond the few retreat days and into the rest of the retreatants’ lives.

“Our seniors were introduced to the idea of ‘Living the Fourth’ at KAIROS last year,” said Karen Chambers, Director of Campus Ministry.  “We are excited for the new senior retreat this year where the students will have a chance to review how they’ve done so far and to explore where God is leading them.”

“Realizing that the retreat will be in the same place as KAIROS makes me look forward to it because I have frequent flashbacks of all the snow,” said senior Brian Gomez.

The Verb Eagles will be taught about faith after high school. There will be an emphasis on community and the importance of brotherhood. Retreats are a major part of Ignatian teachings, but such spiritual experiences are common in Jesuit high schools.

“This retreat will help seniors learn the importance of honoring relationships, to transition from high school to college, and to gain spiritual tools,” said Chambers.

“The [seniors] will develop an understanding of how to increase their faith after high school,” said Molly Fruland, Campus Ministry/ College Guidance Assistant.  “They will be able to see their faith through a spiritual lens and strengthen brotherhood in the senior class.”

Verbum Dei High School values retreats because they creates lasting memories.  The away-from-the-hustle-and-bustle-of-everyday-routines aspect of a retreat provides a sacred space for introspection and vulnerability.

“The senior retreat will be an experience for me because it will be the last time, I will be with my friends all together,” said senior John Madrigal.

“I think we should take advantage of the fact that we will be able to hang out with each other one last time,” said senior Brian Cisneros.

“I think this will be a great opportunity to take a break from school and just be with my Verb brothers and create new memories,” said senior Osvaldo Paniagua.

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