Our first goal of Sacred Heart Education is ‘A Personal and Active Faith in God’. This goal calls us to contemplate and grow in our relationship with God, and asks us to actively work to make God’s love known in this world. To do this, we must have moments that remove us from the ordinary and allow us the time, stillness and peace that such contemplation deserves. One of the ways Stuartholme offers students this opportunity for reflection is through our retreat program. Each year the students participate in a full-day program that allows them to contemplate, explore and grow in their relationship with God, themselves, each other and the world.

Our first two retreats of the year occurred this term and have been run with the Years 7 and 9 students. The Year 7 day called ‘Cor Unum’ focused on what it means to be a part of our Sacred Heart community. Our motto, Cor Unum, teaches us that we are each a special and integral part of the one community, or the ‘One Heart’. As such, the Year 7 students focused on what they bring to our Stuartholme family, and the ways in which they personally find God. From the personal Rosary Beads they made, to the small polaroids they took of where God is for them at Stuartholme, the girls relished in the opportunity to stop and contemplate our Sacred Heart community and God’s presence within it.

The Year 9 retreat, ‘Me, You, Us’, gave the students the opportunity to reflect on their unique gifts and abilities, and the ways in which they find God within themselves, each other and the wider community. To do this, the girls discussed the unique qualities of God and the ways they are reflected in themselves and others. A joyful moment came when the girls used face paint to express to their partner what makes them a unique and special creation of God. We then used this to discuss the use of labels, and the ways in which they obstruct our ability to see past these stereotypes to what truly matters.

In the busyness of our daily lives it can sometimes be hard to take the time needed to contemplate and grow in our spirituality. However, watching both year levels participate in their retreats, reinforced how integral this time is to ensuring that our students nurture a positive relationship with God and grow in their understanding of themselves and others.

Sarah Daff
Director of Mission

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