The St. Patrick Catholic High School faculty and staff attended a Spiritual Retreat on Friday, August 3, at St. Michael’s Catholic Church. Father Greg Barras facilitated the retreat, which focused on Intentional Discipleship. The faculty and staff participated in contemplative prayer, meditation, group reflections, and Mass celebrated by Father Ryan McCoy, chaplain of St. Patrick Catholic High School.
Father Greg began by challenging each person to become an Intentional Disciple through the image of the mustard tree.
To what shall we compare the Kingdom of God, or what parable can we use for it? It is like a mustard seed that, when it is sown in the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on the earth. But once it is sown, it springs up and becomes the largest of plants and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the sky can dwell in its shade.
Through every interaction with students, parents and community members, the staff of St. Patrick can become united in the charge of our calling and our vocation, in which we constantly look for the best in each other.
Throughout the day, the staff was tasked with answering challenging questions and discussing how they can become more intentional in their faith. Each staff member was provided The Daily Examen, developed by Saint Ignatius of Loyola, encouraging reflection of the day’s activities. This examen aims to help each person grow in self-understanding and frees them to follow God’s will. All staff members created a symbol of their Intentional Discipleship by using clay. During Mass, everyone placed their symbol in the middle of a Venn diagram, symbolizing that all staff members are integral to the betterment of the St. Patrick Catholic High School community.
I had two goals for today. The first included spiritual reflection as we begin a new school year, and the second included forming a stronger unity with our colleagues. We set aside our phones and computers to disconnect and to connect with each other. In just a few short days, 412 students will join us on campus for a new school year full of possibilities. We have to be equipped to minister to them and to each other. – SPCHS Principal Matt Buckley
The day was filled with spiritual reflection, faith formation and contemplative discussions by St. Patrick faculty and staff as well as Father Greg and Father Ryan. We are inspired to begin our new school year with a deeper understanding of our faith and a stronger connection to our peers. Photos from the retreat can be found below.