Year 13 Overnight Retreat was held at Tui Ridge Park over the first two days of Term Four. Students reflected on the theme of ‘Living Life to the Full’ by reflecting on their journey through Aquinas College in preparation for their future beyond our gates. It was a special time for the year group to connect with one another and a real privilege for the members of staff to accompany the students. The NET Team supported by running activities and sharing their testimonies. The students were encouraged to show gratitude for one another, and the personal letters received from home, for each student, were very emotional. We were also very grateful for the support of Father Prakash, who joined us for dinner and ran Adoration in the evening
Year 9 Retreats were run by the NET Team at St Joseph’s Church in Te Puna. This year the retreats took place over three days to encourage participation and discussion during small groups. The theme of the Retreat was entitled ‘No Filter’, focusing on self-image and Truth. Students were encouraged to explore the theme through the messages that are shared via social media and the pressures of society. They were asked to reflect on who their supports are and the voices that they listen to. The students entered into a prayer session to reflect on their living relationship with Christ in the afternoon.
This year our Year 11 Discipleship Class has provided many opportunities for students to reflect on their living relationship with Christ while still completing an academic NCEA course.
“My experience with the year 11 Discipleship Class has been nothing but positive this year. It has been an incredible way to further explore my own faith with the resources and guidance needed. It has been a really great experience and I have really enjoyed all the hands-on learning we have done such as the NET team retreats and learning how to lead retreats. I have loved having this opportunity and have loved exploring my personal faith in a safe and welcoming environment.” Riley, Year 11
These students spent time with the NET Team constructing testimonies, learning how to run small groups discussions and using drama to share their faith journey. Leading our Year Seven retreats at St Joseph’s Church, in Te Puna. This was a culmination of their programme and an opportunity to put their newly attained skills into action. It was very powerful for our Year 7 to observe their authentic sharing of faith.(Below left) Georgie leading a small group discussion at the Year 7 Retreat (Right) Caprice giving her testimony