In our Student Handbook, we note that:
As a "school for the Lord's service" (The Rule of St. Benedict, Prologue v. 45) that believes "that God invites us into a deeper relationship with Him," we seek to foster the spiritual development of our students and help them to grow in faith and love. One of the chief means of this effort is our school retreats… These retreats and "days of recollection" flow from the core beliefs of the school, are an expression of the school's mission, and serve to form Delbarton students in the values of the school...
For over 35 years, the Retreat Program at Delbarton has been an essential element of our efforts to educate the whole student in mind, body, and spirit. As a mandatory part of the program for every grade level, the retreats are curricular. Experience shows that these retreats provide unique experiences that enhance brotherhood and community, encourage spiritual seeking and faith development, and foster growth in virtue and Benedictine values. They are also places in which our upperclassmen shine as leaders in faith and service, passing on the rich heritage of Delbarton to their younger brothers.
All students in grades 9 through 12 will have the opportunity to register for their retreat at student orientation in August. Middle Schoolers attend as an entire class. Students are required to attend the full retreat for their grade level and the retreat takes precedence over academic and extracurricular activities. This makes sense for a variety of reasons. For example, the cumulative structure of the talks and activities is essential to the accomplishment of the goals of each experience. Additionally, it is the very nature of a retreat to step away from the daily routine, which, in the case of students, includes classwork, homework, and extracurricular activities.
The following is a listing and description of our retreat experiences.
- Middle School Retreat: Day of Recollection
- Freshman Retreat: The Way of St. Benedict
- Sophomore Retreat: Romero Center Experience
- Junior Retreat: KAIROS
- Senior Retreat: Day of Recollection
This retreat seeks to introduce students to the beliefs of the school, forming students in Benedictine values and offering them an experience of brotherhood and community. It runs from Friday after school (3pm) through Saturday evening (5pm). It is offered once per month October-December and is held in the St. Mary’s Abbey Retreat Center on campus. It involves juniors and seniors as leaders. It complements the courses in Theology 9.
2019-2020 Dates: October 25-26, 2019/November 8-9, 2019/December 13-14, 2019
This retreat, heralded by both students and faculty as “eye opening” and “transformative,” is held at the St. Oscar Romero Center in Camden, NJ and runs from Wednesday after school (3pm) through Friday after school (4pm). One experience is offered each term. It is a version of the Romero Center’s “Urban Experience” that forms students in Catholic Social Teaching and offers various community service opportunities. It complements the courses in Theology 10.
2019-2020 Dates: September 18-20, 2019/December 11-13, 2019/February 26-28, 2020
This profound retreat, praised by students and faculty who have attended as “one of the best experiences they have had at Delbarton,” runs from Tuesday after school (3pm) through Friday after school (4pm). It focuses on developing knowledge of oneself, others, and God, and encourages openness and mutual support. One experience is offered each term. Seniors act as team leaders for KAIROS retreats (along with faculty assigned to assist with the program).
2019-2020 Dates: September 24-27, 2019/December 17-20, 2019/March 24-27, 2020
This is an “extended” Day of Recollection with a smaller group (approximately 1/3 of the class) running a full school day into the evening (returning to campus before 6pm). It is offered once a term. The focus of the program is the challenges and opportunities that face graduates as they go off to college, with a special emphasis on taking ownership of their faith and finding ways to nourish it.
2019-2020 Dates: October 9, 2019/January 8, 2020/March 18, 2020