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Catholic Corner- Friday, May 27th

Catholic Corner – Newsletter – May 27th

As I (Ms. Bell) look back and reflect on the 2021-2022 school year, I can’t help but think about how proud I am of the gr. 11 & 12 students who stepped up to the plate, answered the call, and became disciples through leading our gr. 5-9 retreats.

Seeing as we introduced a new retreat program (The Hero’s Journey), we decided to launch a new “retreat leader” program as well. As Catholics, it’s necessary that we live out our call to disciple and to evangelize, especially in our community. You don’t need to travel to a foreign country to do missionary work. One of the most important places to mission is at home, and sometimes, missioning to the people you know is harder than to people you’ve never met.

In preparation for our retreats, our leaders attended weekly trainings with Ms. Bell. We discussed how to write a talk, how to public speak, how to lead a small group, various tactics to engage a younger audience, and how to mould the retreat content to fit the needs of the audience.

Here are the names of our retreat leaders:

Team 1: Lead the Gr. 5 & 7 Retreats

·       Sofia D’Onofrio – Gr. 12

·       Luca Vivacqua – Gr. 11

·       Alexandra Wietfeldt – Gr. 12

·       Isabella Wietfeldt – Gr. 12

·       William Wietfeldt – Gr. 11

 

Team 2: Lead the Gr. 6 & 8 Retreats

·       TJ Lee – Gr. 11

·       Emma Massaro – Gr. 11

·       Aphrodite Mpampatsikos – Gr. 11

·       Madelyn Orrico – Gr. 11

·       Sarah Sirizzotti – Gr. 11

·       Maria Tassopoulos – Gr. 11

 

Team 3: Lead the Gr. 9 Retreats

·       Avery Bailey – Gr. 11

·       Gabriella Distefano – Gr. 11

·       Tahlia Morsillo – Gr. 11

 

These students made our retreat program special. They lived out their own Hero’s Journey as they were talking about it with the students. Despite any hesitations or fears of being “unqualified,” our retreat leaders courageously said “yes” and began this new way of Evangelization at De La Salle.

 

God does not call the equipped, He equips the called!

Grade 5: Stage One – The Ordinary World

Ms. Cescon’s grade 5 class travelled with Ms. Bell and our retreat leaders to St. Benedict’s Parish in Etobicoke. The students not only learned about the Creation story from the book of Genesis, but also about our specific roles in it. Sofia, Isabella, and Alexandra prepared talks to share this message, while Luca and William emceed and organized the activities. Some of the activities included: creating a Rosary wall, charades, Just Dance, a tour around the Church, Confession, Mass, and an affirmation activity.

Retreat Leaders: Sofia D’Onofrio, Luca Vivacqua, Alexandra Wietfeldt, Isabella Wietfeldt, and William Wietfeldt.

A big thank you to Ms. Cescon for chaperoning.

 

Grade 6: Stage Two – The Call to Adventure

Mr. Bey’s and Ms. Pellegrino’s grade 6 classes travelled to St. Benedict’s Parish in Etobicoke to learn about the unique adventures God has called each of us to. The talks were given by TJ, Aphrodite, Madelyn, Sarah and Maria. Emma emceed the day and tied in a superhero theme from the Marvel movie, Black Panther. Some activities included: creating a Rosary wall, Just Dance, a tour around the Church, Confession, Mass, watching The Star, and an affirmation activity.

Retreat Leaders: TJ Lee, Emma Massaro, Aphrodite Mpampatsikos, Madelyn Orrico, Sarah Sirizzotti, Maria Tassopoulos.

Thank you to our chaperones, Mr. Bey and Ms. Pellegrino.

 

Grade 7: Stage Three – The Refusal of the Call & Stage Four – Meeting the Mentor

Our gr. 7 students had the opportunity to road trip to Camp Brebeuf in Rockwood. Although it was a very cold day, the camp leaders at Camp Brebeuf worked tirelessly to provide us with a phenomenal retreat. Our students divided up into five groups to rotate through stations. They went on a Creation walk (a hike through the camp, reflecting on the days of Creation in the book of Genesis, while learning about the nature around them), participated in team building activities, and prepared for Confirmation with a few activities on the Gifts of the Holy Spirit and prayer. Our student retreat leaders shadowed the Camp leaders and made note of a few games we will use in our retreat’s next year!

Retreat Leaders: Sofia D’Onofrio, Luca Vivacqua, Alexandra Wietfeldt, Isabella Wietfeldt, and William Wietfeldt.

Thank you to our chaperones, Mr. Bacardi, Mr. De Jesus, Mr. Scharfe, and Fr. Alexander from Holy Family Parish.

 

Grade 8: Stage Five – Crossing the Threshold

At Camp Brebeuf in Rockwood, our gr. 8 students quite literally took a “leap of Faith” as they climbed the high ropes giants’ ladder and teeter-totter trust beams. They worked together on various team building and trust exercises, really getting out of their comfort zones to put into practice what it takes to be a hero and have courage. Our student retreat leaders shadowed the Camp leaders.

Retreat Leaders: TJ Lee, Emma Massaro, Aphrodite Mpampatsikos, Madelyn Orrico, Sarah Sirizzotti, and Maria Tassopoulos.

Thank you to our chaperones, Mr. Newton, Mr. Rousselle, Ms. Sciortino, Ms. Wunder, and Fr. Alexander.

 

Grade 9: Stage Six – Tests, Allies, and Enemies

Over the last couple years, many students who are now in gr. 9 were unable to build in-person friendships, due to the restrictions from Covid-19. The Gr. 9 retreat was held at De La Salle College, after school. This retreat was created specifically with the intention of helping the students form a community, to get to know the history of our campus, and to help make De La Salle their home. Our gr. 11 retreat leaders, Avery, Gabriella, and Tahlia did a phenomenal job organizing and facilitating the retreat. They began with an Amazing Race style scavenger hunt across campus. Philomena, one of our amazing chefs, cooked us a great dinner; and we closed with a talk from a Chastity Missionary group from the Office of Catholic Youth with the Archdiocese of Toronto called, Re:Generation. Their talk focused on the importance of virtuous friendships.

Retreat Leaders: Avery Bailey, Gabriella Distefano, Tahlia Morsillo

Thank you to our chaperones, Ms. Brazina, Ms. Carreco, Mr. De Jesus, Ms. Kilkenny, Ms. Meli, Ms. Pollock, Ms. Proulx, and Mr. Salem.

 

Grade 10: Stage Seven – The Approach & Stage Eight – The Ordeal

The gr. 10 students had their retreat at St. Francis Xavier Parish in Mississauga. Ms. Bell led the students in an Amazing Race style game, team building exercises, and gave a talk on redemptive suffering. The retreat closed with an activity where the students affirmed each other by tapping one another on the shoulder.

Retreat Leaders: Ms. Bell

Thank you to our chaperones, Ms. Brazina, Mr. Iacobazzi, Mr. Stratton, and Ms. Pollock.

 

Grade 11: Stage Nine – The Reward & Stage Ten – The Road Back

God had different plans for this retreat and, wow, did He provide! The gr. 11 retreats took place at the school, in the Heritage House. Fr. Alexander from Holy Family Parish gave a talk on the Hero’s Journey from the perspective of Jonah, the Prophet. For the second half of the retreat, a Chastity Missionary group from the Office of Catholic Youth with the Archdiocese of Toronto called, Re:Generation, gave a talk with practical tips on how to intentionally date.

Retreat Leaders: Fr. Alexander & Re:Generation from the Office of Catholic Youth.

Thank you to our chaperones, Ms. Guthrie, Ms. Mohaghegh, and Fr. Alexander.

 

Grade 12: Stage Eleven – The Resurrection & Stage Twelve – The Return with the Elixir

To close off the Hero’s Journey, the gr. 12 retreat took place at the YMCA Cedar Glen Outdoor Centre in Schomberg. Similar to the gr. 8 retreat, the gr. 12s had the opportunity to take part in a few high ropes courses such as, the giants’ ladder. The day ended with free time and Mass celebrated by Fr. Alexander.

Retreat Leaders: YMCA Camp Leaders & Fr. Alexander 

Thank you to our chaperones, Ms. Ceschia, Mr. Schaeffer, Mr. Sourial, Ms. Undurraga, and Fr. Alexander.

Day One-

 

Day Two-

To learn more about our retreat program, please visit the Retreat tab on our school’s website:

https://www.delasalle.ca/our-faith/retreats

 

St. John Baptist de La Salle, pray for us.

Live, Jesus, in our hearts, forever. Amen.

 

Many Blessings,

Ms. Bell

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