Friday, January 20, 2017

Retreat to Advance

Memories like birds, fleeting--one must grasp and hold in heart's hand.

Senior retreats have been part of NDA’s history dating back to the early years of the high school’s existence.  The spiritual advantages of a closed retreat, one in which just the seniors are participants, have always been seen as a major step in the spiritual maturing of seniors before they leave the hallowed halls of NDA.  To add to the specialness, attractiveness, and overall effect, these retreats were, if possible, off campus.  Our publications dating back to 1941 Patrins (yearbook) and the seasonal periodical The Gavel, have provided the names of the priests who were retreat directors.  Many of these were Jesuits.  In the two retreats featured in this posting, we see mention of Fr. Herbert Walker, SJ (senior retreat of 1941) and Fr. Eugene L. Tucker, SJ.  No picture of the former was provided in the yearbook (the first edition of the Patrins), but 1960 spring edition of The Gavel does have a picture of Fr. Tucker, who may have held the attention of the seniors by virtue of his good looks.  Can such an element help to advance one’s spirituality?  God uses all sorts of things to draw us!
The class of 1960 made their retreat at Mary Reparatrix in Cincinnati where they focused on the words of Fr. Tucker (judge for yourself).  One students quoted Father ‘s two questions that set her thinking: “Where were you a hundred years ago?  Where will you be a hundred years from now?”   Pretty timeless considerations for anyone.

The juniors of that year (‘59-’60) made their retreats at St. Joseph Heights, also off campus.  Two photos of juniors on their way to retreat demonstrate the “best foot forward” motto ingrained in all NDA students to this day.

Have a very blessed rest of January!