PUPILS from St Paul’s Catholic High School in Wythenshawe, Greater Manchester, recently enjoyed a three-day residential retreat at Savio House in Bollington, Cheshire.
They were able to take time out from their busy lives to reflect upon themselves, their hopes and dreams and their relationships with those around them.
The trip is partly funded by the St Paul’s Parents, Teachers and Friends Association. Savio House is run by the Salesians of Don Bosco, a Catholic congregation renowned for their youth work and familyoriented approach.
Schools from all over the north of England, North Wales and the Midlands benefit from their retreats. At Savio House, the young people join in fully as part of the community. They eat with the Savio team, socialise with them and spend the rest of their time together.
Free time is an important aspect of the retreat experience and some of the best work at Savio House is done on the football pitch, round the pool table or in a quiet moment over a cup of tea and a biscuit.
The 40 pupils spent time focusing on spiritual matters with morning and night prayers each day, a celebration of the Eucharist and an opportunity for all to experience the forgiveness of God in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
Angie Holland, who accompanied the pupils, said: “The pupils had a very enriching time away, giving them the opportunity to evaluate what is important to them and to reflect on their roles in the school community and society.” Wiktor Daron, headteacher, said: “While at Savio House, the pupils are given an opportunity to learn about themselves, about each other and about the role that Christ can play in their lives. It gives them some important time for reflection and development and we notice the benefits including a greater maturity when the children return to school.
“The pupils really enjoyed their time at Savio House and when it was time for them to leave, they found it hard to believe that they had only been there for three days, they felt it was somewhere they belonged.”