Freshman Retreat


Zhenghao Yuan

Students enjoyed the small moments throughout Freshman Retreat. Here students pose with their Senior leaders for a memorable selfie.

Zhenghao Yuan, Staffer

Do you know that Cathedral Catholic High School has held the freshman retreat for more than 20 years, since the days of UNI? Every CCHS student has experienced their four retreats throughout high school, and the freshman retreat is not only the first, but definitely the most meaningful one.

Kristine Bacich, one of the Mission and Ministry teachers, says that all the retreats, especially the freshman retreat, is an opportunity for students to explore and improve their faith since CCHS’s freshmen come from many different backgrounds —  some might have gone to Catholic schools since kindergarten, some might believe in Buddhism, some might be nonreligious. Therefore, the most significant purpose for freshman retreat is: moving the students to a further palace for their faiths, no matter what their starting points are. “One fact that many CCHS students might not know is that every retreat has its own theme from the school prayer“ says Bacich. 

The theme for this year’s freshman retreat is “let my gifts change the world,” the first phrase in the CCHS community prayer.

Freshman retreat not only helps students explore and improve on their faith, but also helps students socialize and make new friends outside their classes, and more importantly, it is fun! 

Most freshmen say that they had a good time at the freshman retreat, and they also made new friends outside their classes. “One main purpose for freshman retreat is for students to get to know, maybe on a social level, other students from other classes, that students can hardly have this opportunity in regular class settings.” Says Bacich. 

Besides freshmen, the senior leaders also benefit from the freshman retreat. Ashlinn Mojoco, who was a senior leader for the freshman retreat, says that “It actually helps us, seniors, to improve on, because we want to be the leaders, the role models for the freshman, so we have to make sure that we are good in our faith and live it. Also for the pandemic, many people are less engaged with their faith, being a leader is a good opportunity to pick up our faith again.” Being a senior leader means being responsible, faithful, and helpful. 

The most important part of the freshman retreat is exploring and meeting their faith. Bacich says that “ the most direct way for freshmen to meet God and their faith is through the Mass, and receiving the sacraments.” Bacich points out that many students are unable to go to mass for a long time, due to pandemic, and many other students have never gone to mass before. 

So, for many, retreat is a great chance for the freshmen to receive the mass as the first step towards their faith. Students can also see faith from their senior leaders, who are the modeling for them and have more strong faith as the retreat leaders.