For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. - John 3:16
The heart of the mission of Bishop O’Connell High School is to be a place to encounter Jesus Christ. Retreats are one of the ways that Campus Ministry provides an opportunity for students to have a true encounter with Christ. Each student is required to participate in one class retreat a year. These retreats provide each student with an opportunity to experience the presence of Jesus in the Blessed Eucharist, to experience His healing power in the sacrament of Reconciliation, and to enter into a relationship with Him in personal prayer through different activities. Each retreat has a different theme and structure to the day, but each has a goal of introducing Jesus to the individual student so that when the student graduates from Bishop O’Connell, they have a deep personal relationship with God.
- Grade 9 - Dignity of the Human Person
- Grade 10 - The Grace of a Catholic Community
- Grade 11 - Using Your Faith as a Guide
- Grade 12 - The Christian Life After O'Connell
Using Theology of the Body and the the freshman curriculum theme of the Dignity of the Human Person, the 9th grade retreat is a single-day experience that introduces students to the traditions and faith of Bishop O’Connell. Through team builders, small group discussion, and sacramental opportunities, freshmen begin t0 learn how to build healthy Christian relationships within the community. The retreat is done as part of the freshman orientation days.
This retreat is based around a day of service in which students participate in a service revolving around working with the poor. There are three sophomore retreat options in the fall and spring, which serve to introduce students to the changes in their service requirements for junior and senior year. During the retreat students will experience team-builders, and community service, paired with a day of adoration and confession with their religion class.
Campus Ministry is providing a new retreat experience for juniors that centers on the year’s theme: “Using Your Faith as a Guide.” Juniors begin their journey by thinking about their own vocation and possible career path.
There will be four retreat one-day experiences contained within the academic day held at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church in Arlington. Each student will have the opportunity to choose the experience that most appeals to their career preference.
Dates and retreat themes are as follows:
- January 13, 2020 - Christian Life in Education
- February 10, 2020 - Christian Life in Public Service and Military Service
- March 11, 2020 - Christian Life in Business
- April 21, 2020 - Christian Life in Science and Health
In addition to one of the required one-day experiences listed above, juniors are encouraged to attend any of the overnight and summer retreats listed on this page.
NEW! Seniors choose from a range of options to fulfill the requirement to attend an overnight retreat some time between the end of their junior year and the 3rd quarter of their senior year.
Plan Early - Students are encouraged to review their commitments to athletics, fine arts, or other significant extracurricular activities to ensure that the retreat opportunity selected will not conflict with those commitments.
Overnight retreats listed on this page (Kairos, Desales, Boats & Mountains and summer retreats) are all open to seniors and will fulfill their retreat requirement. In addition, a new one-night overnight retreat experience is available for seniors only:
Grade 12 only
Girls - Sep. 23-24 or Dec. 3-4
Boys - Sep. 24-25 or Dec. 3-4
This single-night experience examines life after graduation in a very practical, hands-on way. This retreat is designed for seniors who have not been on an overnight retreat before and is a re-introduction to the sacramental life to "renew" their faith.
Location: 4-H Retreat Center near Front Royal, VA.
SENIOR RETREAT FEE: Families pay a $60 senior retreat fee at the time of registration. Seniors who chose to substitute one of the other retreat option on this page for the RENEW retreat will have the $60 applied to the retreat of their choice.
PLEASE NOTE: The summer Appalachia immersion and the overseas mission trip do not fulfill the senior retreat requirement.
Overnight Retreat Offerings
Several other optional and meaningful retreats are available for students looking to further build their relationship with Jesus.
Students should not be deterred from attending a retreat for financial reasons. Please contact Mr. Fitzpatrick for more information.
For registration information and more, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kairos IX: Nov. 21-24, 2019
Kairos X: Mar. 6-11, 2020
Kairos XI Apr. 2-5, 2020
Kairos, offered three times a year for Juniors and Seniors, is a four day retreat exploring: “Who am I and how do I build a relationship with God?” Students step back and look at how God interacts with us on a personal level. The retreat offers teenagers practical ways to see and experience Jesus in everyday life.
Location: Camp St. Charles, Md.
DESALES SERVICE WORKS
Fall: Oct. 3-6, 2019
Winter: Feb. 27 - Mar. 1, 2020
DeSales Service Works provides opportunities for face-to-face service within an elementary school, homeless shelter and AA/NA houses. Our students work at the DeSales site in Camden, NJ over a 4-day, 3-night.
Location: Camden, NJ
- Steubenville (Grades 9-12)
- Young Neighbors in Action (Grades 9-12)
- Appalachia Immersion (Grades 9-12)
STEUBENVILLE YOUTH CONFERENCE
July 19-21, 2019
Stuebenville Youth Conference is a popular summer weekend retreat is held at the Franciscan University of Steubenville in Ohio. The theme varies from year to year, but each retreat is filled with profound experiences of the sacraments. One conference attendee said of their experience: “The Steubenville Conferences changed my heart. I realized the importance of growing my relationship with God on my own time, through prayer. That is what gives us strength to share our love for God with others.”
Location: Franciscan University of Steubenville (Ohio)
YOUNG NEIGHBORS IN ACTION
July 21-26, 2019
Young Neighbors, a Catholic immersive mission experience, offers students the opportunity to perform service and reflection in Washington, DC.
Location: Students stay at Bishop McNamara High School
Grades 9-12 (This service trip does NOT fulfill the retreat requirement for seniors)
July 14-19, 2019
Founded by Jesuit Priest, Clifford M. Lewis, this trip through the Wheeling Jesuit Institute in WV promotes research, service and advocacy for people of Appalachia, to build healthier, stronger and more sustainable communities.
Location: Wheeling, WV