The retreat and spirituality program at Mount Alvernia College provides the whole community with the opportunity to grow in Christian self-understanding. The retreats may be held on- or off-site.
Our retreat programs are explicitly Franciscan in that they use Franciscan readings and knowledge to challenge our young women in self-understanding, to deepen their relationship with God within a life of prayer and contemplation, and to respond to Christ’s call to serve others.
The retreat program works cooperatively and collaboratively with the pastoral and personal development programs within the College to ensure that the spiritual and personal development needs of the students are met at all times.
Each year level has a specific retreat as outlined below:
WALKING IN COMMUNITY – The Year 7 students have entered Francis School as the newest members.
Francis of Assisi is our spiritual founder. His message is simply himself and his way of life. He kept his eyes firmly on God and found time for both action and prayer. Students will quickly understand that both Francis and Clare gathered ‘brothers and sisters” to form community. Therefore we plant our Year 7 students into this school and into our spirituality. For Year 7 students, this reflection day is essential, and occurs at the beginning of the year, when the students begin to understand the sacred Mount Alvernia College ethos and Franciscan charism.
FRATERNITY – The Year 8 students of Francis School continue to walk their journey with God and with others. This reflection day invites students to open themselves up to mystery and promise – to opportunities and blessings to which they are not privy at the outset of high school. It occurs within Semester 1 and strengthens community bonds.
EMMAUS DAY – Year 9 students at Mount Alvernia College have made the journey into Clare School. Clare walked her journey of life with God and others.
Therefore, on this reflection day our students in Year 9 will explore the global community with the help of the Kinetic Energy Theatre Troupe.
The day is co-designed and facilitated by the Mission staff and other retreat specialists.
VILLAGE SPACE DAY – This day reflects the Integrated Studies curriculum in Term 3 of the academic year, and has a justice focus. It builds on the idea of community as students explore the global community with the help of the theatre troupe Village Space.
MICAH REFLECTION DAY – This reflection day highlights that Year 10 is a special time of growth where students at Mount Alvernia College are considered to be part of the senior school. It aims to ignite a desire in students to be part of the outreach opportunities offered in the senior years of schooling.
JESUS, OUR LEADER AND TEACHER – The Year 11 students have entered into Elizabeth Hayes School so this community reflection day, early in the academic year, focuses on servant leadership. The day program acknowledges the talents and gifts of individuals and others in the year level, as the students identify their own shadows and strengths. There is opportunity for reflection and reconciliation.
WE ARE THE SUM OF MANY PARTS – Elizabeth Hayes was a woman of the world who packed lightly for the journey. She led her community by being inclusive, by embracing her intellect, and by being a visionary. Therefore, this compulsory overnight/day experience, early in Semester 2, focuses on embracing strengths, on leadership in the footsteps of Jesus and Elizabeth Hayes, on teamwork, on being a servant to others, and embracing a missionary spirit. There is an opportunity for fun team-building activities, gospel reflection, and a creative expression of the sum of our many parts.
Optional Retreat Program – Years 11 & 12
The optional retreat program offers students of both Clare and Elizabeth Hayes Schools the opportunity to further develop their faith through spiritual experiences that centre on action, reflection and mission.
The optional retreat program is offered at personal cost to the students, both in time and in money.
- There are invitations for Years 11 and 12 students to participate in two-day retreats. One has a justice and street ministry focus, and the other a creative and contemplative focus.
- For Years 10 and 11 students a Franciscan Justice Day is offered, where the colleges that have a Franciscan foundation and spirituality come together to action the call of Jesus, Francis and Clare.
- Throughout the year there are numerous reflection, ministry, leadership and justice days facilitated by Catholic organisations in which Years 10, 11 and 12 students are invited to participate.