Retreats are a necessary component of faith formation and campus ministry. Our retreat program is designed to provide an annual reflective experience for each student. This ensures that all students continually develop their own personal relationship with God, collectively build unity with their peers as a class, and process their growth as they mature as teenagers. These retreats are led by upperclassmen members of the Call to Ministry Team who serve as peer ministers who witness to their own growth through leadership in small group discussions, large group talks, spiritually expressive prayers, and interactive activities. All retreats are chaperoned and accompanied by grade level faculty.

During these off-campus retreats, students address questions of personal faith, build community, participate in challenging activities, and join in prayer experiences - all appropriate for their age level. These annual class retreats provide opportunities for students to grow into:

  • Faith-filled disciples

  • Servant leaders

  • Empowered witnesses

  • Agents of justice and peace

  • Spirit-filled members of family & community

Underclassman grade levels have one-day retreat experiences at a local Catholic retreat center in Brownsville. Each retreat day is filled with communal prayer and activities aligned to the theme that help students process the experience.

  • As their first retreat at SJA, 7th graders explore the meaning of being valued members of a larger community both locally and globally, such as the Marist family.

  • The 8th grade retreat inspires students to discern what it means to be an empowered witness through peer-led discussions on personal fortitude in faith and self-worth in the face of common social dilemmas faced by teenagers.

  • The 9th grade retreat is run by the Marist Youth Leadership Team. Freshmen are led through an in-depth examination of the Marist charism and the 5 Marist Pillars of living in the way of Mary with presence, simplicity, love of work, & family spirit.

  • At 10th grade retreat, students participate in a service experience. Sophomores have an opportunity to engage in hands-on activities that benefit the least favored members of our local communities.

Upperclassman retreats are extended 3-day overnight experiences, spent off campus in retreat centers outside of Brownsville. The additional time is necessary to allow for a deeper examination of faith, self, and community.

  • In 11th grade, juniors participate in an Encounter Christ retreat which is based on an established Marist program and is consistent in its presentation each year. Typically, there are two Encounters annually to accommodate and foster full participation of the junior class – one in the Fall and one in the Spring. The Encounter is conducted in the Lower Rio Grande Valley, in a natural and peaceful setting that encourages prayer and reflection.

  • For 12th grade retreat, the entire senior class is strongly encouraged to attend this last retreat of their high school career at Saint Joseph Academy. The retreat is aimed at a final call to community and life in Christ. Held at Camp Eagle, it is a time of reflection, sharing, prayer, and fun before being sent forth.

"Throughout life, our inner spiritual reality interacts dynamically with the experiences we undergo. On the one hand, what we term our spirituality is moulded as we embrace the experiences of our lives. On the other, this spirituality shapes the way we understand and relate to the world, to people and to God."

-Water From the Rock