My final retreat experience at Brother Martin was by far the most memorable I experienced. Going into the weekend, I wasn’t really sure what to expect. After sitting down for lunch with a few of my classmates, we went straight into keynote talks that set the tone for a very special experience. These keynote talks covered our relationships with our parents and our new found responsibilities in life. These talks were then broken down in our small groups, which helped all of us to connect further and deepen our understanding of what was just presented to us.
One of my favorite moments of the retreat was Mr. Moran’s talk to us during Mass. After placing our intentions into the fire, he spoke to us about how we as Christians, through our trust in God and one another, will be as successful as we want to be. His talk kept our attention and definitely opened many eyes. His powerful speech instilled in us a fire and vigor to power through the rest of this school year and remain grounded in our faith life. Also, this speech allowed us to look at those around us as a support system.
Another huge part of our retreat was that of the ‘brotherhood’ that has been formed through the past five years at Brother Martin. I was lucky enough to experience this retreat with a majority of my teammates from football which definitely made the retreat that much more special for me. Aside from getting away from the real world for a few hours, this retreat allowed us to review the past few years we’ve all experienced at Brother Martin, both the good and the bad.
Being able to spend time relaxing with people I have forged countless memories with is something that I noticed I have taken for granted over the past few years. To me it all became a blur that I have rarely paid attention to. The retreat allowed me to step back and live in the moment for once. Living in the moment was really epitomized when instead of sleeping in, a group of my classmates and I woke up early and went fishing around the lake and talked about whatever we felt like, topics ranging from college, to sports, to what was going on in our personal lives. All-in-all this retreat instilled in me the connection that I and 200 other men will have when we walk across that stage to receive our diplomas in six short months.
The main talks and small group sessions were very special and only strengthened an already strong bond between my classmates and me, but my favorite part of the entire retreat was the free time we had to enjoy with our classmates. It was comical seeing the outdoors men teach those who have never been fishing how to cast a reel, or to see some people open up to others about their view on what was happening in the world, or who won in fantasy football that weekend. This retreat gave us a break from reality and allowed us to relax and enjoy what little time we have left in high school before all of us go our separate ways. This retreat was in essence a huge culmination of the past five years I have been able to experience at Brother Martin High School. These experiences are truly ones that I will never forget, no matter where life may lead me. And in those times where life may be hard, I will have the cross that they gave us on this retreat to reflect back on and know that I am not alone, I will always have one of my brothers with me, no matter the distance.
Submitted by Alex Hassinger ’17