Fifth Form Retreat
Last week, Fr James led the Fifth Form Retreat, during which pupils were able to take time out of the everyday school life for a moment of calm reflection.
Accompanied by pastoral staff, monks and members of the St Scholastica community, each house visited a different location for the overnight retreat: Roberts stayed at Nympsfield, Isabella and Caverel went to the Ammerdown Retreat Centre, whilst Barlow visited Glastonbury and Smythe went to St Rita’s in Honiton.
Fifth Form at Downside School
On the 31st of January, the Fifth Form of Roberts House headed off to Nympsfield accompanied by Mr Ottewell, Katalina (of the Manquehue Apostolic Movement), and Dom. Boniface. During the hour and a half journey, we had a brief stop at Morrisons Supermarket while the boys stocked up on plenty of snacks for the trip.
On our arrival at the Marist Convent, a former orphanage, we were greeted by the lovely nuns and after settling into our rooms we were shown a presentation on technology after which we handed in our phones – disconnect to connect being the order of the day – the theme of the retreat was Building Communion. We settled into a routine of prayer and reflection over our stay including some Lectio Divina and a Mass celebrated by Dom. Boniface and accompanied by Mr Ottewell on the organ. On the first night, we also watched the Shawshank Redemption followed by a presentation by Mr Ottewell on the religious themes in the film. The food was excellent and the accommodation most agreeable with hot baths (and showers) and warm beds.
After a brief walk around the town, we were forced to say goodbye to our lovely hosts and we all enjoyed a quick McDonald’s on the way back to Downside feeling spiritually renewed and closer as a band of brothers. (Frederick Morris, Roberts House)