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​Religion Class Retreats

The retreat program complements the in-class Religious Education program and is an important means of reinforcing Catholic/Christian attitudes.The retreat experience provides the opportunity for the individual student to experience God’s loving care and to blossom and grow into a full and powerful agent of conversion and transformation. 


 “Undertake any work of charity which seems proper to furth​er the glory of God and the common good.”  
~Mary Ward​​


The purpose of student community involvement is to encourage students to:

  • Grow in the Christian calling to service ​and reflection, develop a generous and compassionate response to the local community and to the world
  • Foster an awareness and understanding of social and civic respo​nsibility
  • Experience and celebrate the contributions they can make in supporting and strengthening their communities.

Grade 9 Retreat

GRADE 9 students began their day with Mass at St. Clare Church which was followed by a church tour & talk given by Father Xavier and a mindfulness in-service and peer mentoring activities planned by student leaders. After a pizza lunch, the students - accompanied by staff - sold daffodils at various neighborhood locations. In spite of the rain, our grade 9 students raised $600 selling daffodils on behalf of the Canadian Cancer Society.

Alternately, Positive Gear @ St. Clare Church 

Students participated in a full day of leadership activities and prayer. They began the day with a hearty breakfast and continued into the 9:00 a.m. Liturgy with the St. Clare community. The remainder of the day had the grade 9 students working with the group Positive Gear. Positive Gear works with youth in school leadership teams, and with at-risk youth in the outside community. They helped the girls to learn that there are techniques to live a positive life through positive choice making, modelling, and sharing experiences through fun and games. They had the opportunity to take some time to pause in their busy, distracting world. The retreat helped to rejuvenate all participants through reflecting and thinking about how we can return to our normal lives excited and recharged.

Grade 10​ Retreat

St. Jude’s Academy of the Arts

For the grade 10 retreat, students engaged in a partnership with St. Jude’s Academy of the Arts. The day engaged students in spiritual reflection, and helped them learn about the importance of building a personal relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ. They learned about the importance and power they receive through sacraments, and the power of prayer. The day was enthusiastically spent with the individuals that are served by the St. Jude’s community – individuals who are intellectually and/or physically challenged. Shared activities throughout the day included dance, inspirational testimonies of faith, visual arts, literacy, drama. The students collaborated with our participants through the arts and develop relationships and work one on one with the clients we serve. The day ends with a Christian rock concert. The clients who participate at St. Jude’s are ecstatic about the new relationships they are forming, and are gaining social skills and interpersonal relationships with their increased exposure to the participating youth. Our clients act as mentors for the students who attend in that they open their hearts to all, and demonstrate sincerity and innocence of character.  This benefits today’s youth in retaining the important message of just being you. 

Alternately, The Good Shepherd Ministry 

Grade 10 students traditionally volunteer their time at the Good Shepherd Ministry -  a downtown Toronto refuge that provides  shelter, clothing and meals for homeless men. 


Grade 11 Retreat

In Nostra Aetate, the Church’s Declaration on the Relation of the Church to Non-Christian Religions, the Church declares: “One is the community of all peoples, one their origin, for God made the whole human race to live over the face of the earth. One also is their final goal, God. His providence, His manifestations of goodness, His saving design extend to all [humans], until that time when the elect will be united in the Holy City, the city ablaze with the glory of God, where the nations will walk in His light.”

The​refore, the objectives in our comparative religions course in grade 11 are as follows:
      1. To come to a solid understanding of the concept of religion – why human beings are inherently religious creatures – and to explore the religious dimensions of life.
      2. To introduce the students to the three major Western religions and two major Eastern religions of the world – their histories, sacred documents, beliefs and practices.
      3. To come to appreciate what is good and beautiful in each faith, recognizing that the fullness of Truth resides in the Body of Christ.
      4. To understand the Catholic Church’s special relationship with each of the major faiths of the world.
In order to live our this papal teaching, grade 11 students engage in a Places of Worship tour in order to gain an understanding of the places of worship of other faiths and compare them to our own Catholic tradition of worship space. Students have visited Toronto Area and Region Islamic Centre and Mosque, Beth Tzedec Congregation and Synagogue, Kadampa Buddhist Meditation Centre, and BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir Toronto.

Grade 12 Retreat

First Semester:   The grade 12 retreat to the Toronto Children’s Aid Society engaged students in active faith. They learned about Toronto’s homelessness issue and the stain of child abuse on our society. They also had the opportunity to assist with the “Holiday Pick and Pack” program where they worked hard to put together packages of gifts for families with children, who may not be able to afford any gifts. During the months of November-December, the Society distributes gifts to approximately 2,500 children and youth through donations provided by our generous donors. It was a privilege to be able to participate in such a program.
Second Semester:  The grade 12 retreat to Sanctuary Ministries is a culmination of all of what students have learned in Religion class throughout their high school years.  Themes of Gospel ethics, Catholic moral living, social and political impacts of the Gospel, Catholic Social Teaching, Preferential Option for the Poor, contemporary issues of forgiveness, the call to ministry, human freedom, Christian compassion to the HIV/AIDS crisis and the Church’s teaching on the sacredness of human life are all covered through engaging and rich conversation. Students visit Sanctuary Ministries, a charitable organization that seeks to establish and develop a holistic, inclusive and healthy community. They welcome those who have known only rejection and abuse and engage in community outreach to Toronto neighbourhoods plagued with homelessness, prostitution, unemployment and AIDS. Sanctuary Ministries teaches our students the tangible significance of the story of the Good Samaritan and encourages our students to work at creating a community that is radically inclusive. ​​