Retreatin’ off campus: Juniors discover themselves in Lawrence


Courtesy of Bill Creach

Senior leaders gather after a day of in Lawrence

Will Baska, Staff Writer


The bus vibrates incessantly as juniors reflect on their morning on campus. This was no field trip, rather a day of reflection with oneself and others — junior retreat. Wednesday, April 27, the junior class made the commute to the St. Lawrence center at Kansas University to focus on understanding self-awareness, being a leader and the importance of knowing yourself.

The retreat concentrated on one main idea, self-awareness. Small groups were encouraged to answer self-reflective questions, forcing an intimate bonding experience amongst a diverse group of juniors.

Junior retreat was really good,” junior Finn Stocks said. “I really learned a lot about classmates and about my relationship with them and how to be a leader next year.”

Not only did the retreat serve its purpose as a time for bonding with oneself and others, it opened up a new perspective of college life for some juniors. 

“I felt like I gained a new perspective on approaching college life,” junior Robert Allmon said. “I had never before thought about going to a public university with faith based opportunities.” 

Besides self-awareness, another major theme of the retreat was leadership. Students were introduced to the concept that leadership is composed of a metaphorical “compass,” not a “checklist.”

“My breakthrough this year was not to do the principles and the characteristics of leadership,” campus minister Mr. Creach said. “Instead I think self-awareness as love and action, to know yourself and to know others and to love others. I think that’s the true north, especially from a Catholic faith perspective.”

The theme of leadership hit close to home for the entirety of the retreat, as senior small group leaders head off to college, juniors prepare to become the head of the school.

“I think we can just become better leaders by taking the step up activities and getting the underclassmen and the new freshman class coming,” Allmon said. “It really matters because we will be constantly forming others.”

The retreat concluded at Miege, as juniors pondered their experience with their groups and the progress they made as a class.

“Junior retreat was really great,” Allmon said. “I really think it was what we needed to hear at the right time,”

As the class of 2023 approaches their senior year, students will take with them the themes of junior retreat to heart as they prepare to embark on their journey of leadership and adulthood.

“The retreat was great, especially for post Covid,” Creach said. “It was special to gather in the way we did.”