Retreats are an essential part of the St. Thomas experience. Every freshman, sophomore, junior and senior is required to partake in a mandatory overnight retreat provided by STH during the school year. For more information on the different retreats we offer, please see below or contact Grover.Green@sths.org.
FRESHMAN RETREAT: CAMP AQUINAS
In support of the Basilian tradition to teach Goodness, Discipline, and Knowledge, and of our vision to form strong Catholic servants to the Church and the world, this program forges young men into servant-leaders; this is accomplished through a comprehensive leadership curriculum based both in authentic mentorship and the powerful experience of nature.
Camp Aquinas is a five-day (Monday-Friday) immersive outdoor retreat experience that takes place during the first week of school. It serves to initiate, or “onboard,” freshmen into the tradition and culture of St. Thomas High School, which will become known as “The Men of St. Thomas.” This program also offers consistent mentorship opportunities among faculty, freshmen and upperclassmen. Ultimately, our students experience faith as it is lived in a nurturing community.
SOPHOMORE RETREAT: TAKE UP YOUR CROSS
This retreat is an extended meditation on Matthew 16:24-26:
“If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul?”
Students will wrestle, like Job, with the reality of suffering, finding the answer not only in the grandeur of God’s creation, but also by delving into the mystery of Christ’s Passion. They will discover that only by dying to oneself can they then rise together with Jesus Christ. In their Houses, students will cement the bonds of brotherhood and unity, realizing that strength is in mutual dependence as they overcome obstacles together.
JUNIOR RETREAT: LIFE IN CHRIST
This retreat is about “the rubber hitting the road,” where faith becomes a critical component of daily life unlike ever before. Spiritual questions are the central focus, revealing faith-based maturity as it comes to pass.
- Our young men will be asked to carefully consider Jesus’ question to St. Peter in Matthew 16:15, “Who do you say that I am?,” realizing indeed that if Jesus is who He truly says He is, our lives must radically transform.
- They will reflect on their personal experiences, grappling with moral issues, followed by an invitation to encounter Christ through the graces of the sacraments.
- Finally, they will be encouraged to embrace St. Paul’s challenge to “not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will” (Romans 12:2).
SENIOR RETREAT: THE GREAT COMMISSION
In this culminating retreat for the young men of St. Thomas, the focus is Jesus’ final command to His Apostles, to “therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19-20).
- Our students will reflect on their unique experience at St. Thomas, assessing where they have matured, and where they still have room to develop.
- They will be challenged by alumni, faculty, and administration to take their faith seriously and embody the Gospel message in their daily lives.
- They will be urged to listen intently for God’s guiding voice, as they move forward in their journey to discover and embrace His tailored plan for their lives.