sample retreat program for catholic school retreat activities ideas

Sample Program


Multi-media Presentations:  use of photos, videos, audio, music and speaking

Reflective Activities: personal story, faith questions, small group sharing, artful responses, commitment to living by noble values.

Prayer Experiences:  Catholic prayers e.g. modified Rosary, oil blessings, lectio divina, Ignatian imagination, creative responses

Music: students love the live, whole-group singing to original Christian songs

Games: integrated into retreat theme, team-building, hands-on and fun

Sample Program

The sample program below follows Donna’s general template for a student retreat.

Year 6 Retreat Day   “Be Strong and Courageous”

“Be strong and courageous for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” Joshua 1:9
“The one who is the greatest among you must become like the youngest and the leader like the servant” Luke 22:26

Pastoral Goals
To empower the year 6 students to understand more deeply and express how Christian Values will guide their leadership, beyond titles and jobs to an everyday service in their sphere of influence.
To offer the students an experience of Christian community, spirituality and retreat with their cohort and staff.


Session 1

Introductions and Prayer: Donna introduces herself, the retreat scripture and theme and the students introduce themselves to Donna and together they pray for their day.

Input 1: Presentation on Christian leadership with Project Kindy anecdote

Student Response:  Individual reflection on 3 questions connecting servant leadership to their lived experience. Students then share their thoughts with one peer.

Game: Team-building and servant-leadership followed by student-led reflections

Live Music: Learn Song 1

Session 2

Game: Team-building and servant-leadership followed by student-led reflections

Input 2: Stages of Moral Development (Kholberg re-interpreted) + Jesus’ Noble Values and call to us

Student Stories: During and after the Input, students share their own experiences to illustrate the values at work in their everyday lives.

Creative Response: In small groups, students create leadership goals, mantras and values to remember through the year. Their responses are integrated into a Lion Picture.

Live Music: Revisit Song 1 and Learn Song 2

Session 3

Revisit Theme

Meditation: Relaxation of muscle groups, imagination meditation on being a courageous young lion with parent lion’s (God’s) support.

Prayer Experience:

– Key Scripture + Jesus Values

– APRE input on School charism or pastoral and spiritual goals

– Prayerful Response: Painting Cross Circles – Matching our Hearts to Jesus. Individually, students paint a symbol of their chosen Jesus Value/Mission for their own life.

– Blessing of Students, Lion Picture and Cross Circles as we pray the Our Father

Live Music: Revisit Song 1 and Song 2

More Info on Donna’s Retreats