St. Hubert sophomores took part in their class retreat last week at the school, the first time the 10th-graders have been together since March 2020.
Typically, the retreat is at a place such as the shrines of Our Lady of Czestochowa, St. John Neumann, St. Katharine Drexel or the Miraculous Medal.
Large trips are not permitted in Archdiocese of Philadelphia schools this year, so the retreat was held at St. Hubert.
Mary McGinley, the director of campus ministry, told sophomores last month about the retreat. Diane Kahn agreed to take a leadership role.
“I wanted to help make it fun for our class,” she said.
As freshmen, the class had a retreat in October 2019. The coronavirus pandemic shut down the school last March. Since September, the girls have been learning in a hybrid model, with both in-person and virtual learning.
Last Friday’s theme was Creation, to coincide with Earth Day. All 125 or so sophomores were welcome to participate and see everyone for the first time in 13 months.
“It’s been going really well,” Kahn said. “We’re enjoying being together again.”
The day started with a Mass celebrated by the Rev. David Buffum, parochial vicar at St. Katherine of Siena, who noted the beauty and nature of Earth created by God.
Small group activities were planned to bring the girls closer to one another through prayer and nature. The girls enjoyed an Oreo cookie-like snack linked to the Parable of the Sower. A scavenger hunt took them to statues, the chapels and prayer stations.
The sophs also engaged in various plantings, including a native pollinator garden at the Mary Our Lady of the Highways statue overlooking Torresdale Avenue.
“The Blessed Mother will be happy that she’s got new plants,” said Lizanne Pando, the school president. “There was a lot of creativity this year. There are beautiful Catholic images all through the school. There were fun activities coupled with an Earth Day lesson and the Blessed Mother.”
McGinley, in her first year at St. Hubert, said the retreat was successful, in part, due to the nice weather. Some of the girls gardened for the first time, and the native plants will encourage pollinators.
The retreated succeeded in creating fellowship among the sophomore class.
“I think they got a lot out of it,” McGinley said. “It provided an opportunity to get to know their classmates more. A lot of them were meeting people for the first time.”
The sophomores were rewarded for their hard work on Friday with a half-day. ••