Retreats are an essential part of the Brophy experience and of Jesuit education. They offer students the opportunity to get to know themselves, to get to know their classmates and to strengthen their relationship with God. Beginning with the Freshman Retreat and coming full circle with the final Threshold Retreat as a senior, retreats lead students to mature in self-awareness, and at the same time, strengthen connections and relationships within their family and school community. Often, they are transformational experiences that lead to a great deal of personal and spiritual growth.
Other than the Freshman Retreat which is on campus, for Kairos and Magis, as well as team and club retreats, students travel by bus to Manresa, Brophy's creekside retreat campus outside of Sedona, Arizona. Retreats are not mandatory (except for the Freshman Retreat) but are encouraged. They play an important role in leading students to become the Jesuit-educated Graduate at Graduation: open to growth, intellectually competent, religious, loving and committed to doing justice.
At the beginning of the year, Brophy freshmen participate in a retreat intended to introduce them to the community, to their Big Brothers and to the Jesuit idea of becoming Men for Others. The retreat includes a service opportunity, group activities, dinner and a concluding service that parents are encouraged to attend.
Each Kairos Retreat begins on Tuesday and ends early on Friday evening. There are a number of Kairos Retreats each year for seniors exclusively, with a final two or three of the year for juniors who will help carry on the tradition the following year.
Each retreat is led by a team composed of six seniors who have previously made a Kairos retreat and six faculty and staff members. The activities on Kairos are used to promote and build community, to foster trust and openness, and to encourage reflection. The key themes are: knowing oneself, discovering Jesus in a personal way, recognizing and responding to Jesus's call and living the message of Christ.
Each retreatant is encouraged to grow in awareness of the countless opportunities to find God in our world, especially in others. There are many Ignatian values that naturally flow from the experience of Kairos. Each retreatant learns that he is loved, lovable and loving. The retreatant comes to see Jesus in a new light, as a real friend who is loving and calling him.
Reflection is prominent throughout the retreat. In the course of the retreat, there is a strong, gradual building of community. This supports the retreatants during the retreat and also in the follow-up period. The reality of this often shows up in the school where visible, loving dimensions of community appear. Ignatius's motto, “Love is shown in deeds more than words,” is a Kairos theme. The critical final phase of the retreat and the follow-ups stress putting love into action.
The Magis Retreat is offered to first-semester juniors and second-semester sophomores. Magis allows juniors and sophomores the opportunity to discuss masculine spirituality and Ignatian spirituality as they continue their journey of becoming men with and for others. The retreat also looks to assist young men as they begin the transition into roles of personal responsibility and leadership. Each two-day retreat runs from Wednesday afternoon through Friday afternoon.
The Threshold Retreat offers graduating seniors a final opportunity for prayer, reflection and fun at Manresa. This retreat is focused on the experience of transition, leaving behind a place and an experience that has had great meaning, and moving onto something unfamiliar. The Threshold Retreat also begins to explore the meaning of true vocation and how young men can use simple tools of discernment as they embark on their college career to help guide and deepen their college experience.
Typically, all sports teams and most established clubs will begin their year or season with a weekend retreat at Manresa.
For teams, it's an opportunity to get to know each other; to discuss respect, responsibility and sportsmanship; and to learn what it means to compete Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam — for the greater glory of God.
Club members, in addition to using the retreat as an opportunity to get to know one another and the talents they bring to the table, will discuss how they can use their organization's purpose and mission not only for personal growth, but to make an impact within the community.