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Students at Bishop Donahue High School Take Part in 'Retreat Day' Events

 

 

On February 1st and 2nd, Maureen Hagan, accompanied by Pat Hagan and Marist young adult Zach Schumacher, led retreats for the students at Bishop Donohue in McMechen, WV.   The juniors and seniors attended on Wednesday, followed by the freshmen and sophomores on Thursday.  Both days opened with the LaValla Table Setting prayer, using the symbols of Marist life – among them, violets for the Marist qualities of simplicity, humility, and modesty; the lantern for the Memorare in the snow; nails representing the work of the early brothers - but were also more meaningful because the nails used were sent from Br. Owen in Esopus, and were originally from the nail factory in Wheeling.

 

 

Part of the day involved looking at all that has been nurtured in the community of Bishop – the prayerfulness, the strength of the support of one another in good times and in bad, the shared memories of sporting events, retreats, and interactions with faculty and staff. Students spoke of how they have grown and shared stories of the importance of this community in their lives.  Some also shared their feelings of sadness, anger, and frustration about the announcement of Bishop Donahue closing at the end of the school year. This was done through activities such as the Spider Web of yarn, which portrays the feeling of how we are all connected and how our actions affect the others in our communities.  Students also brought items to share, things that summed up their years at Bishop – t-shirts, sports letters, or academic achievement awards – and spoke about their significance.

 

 

The second part of the day was about looking forward. Students were invited into a period of silent reflection, where they could walk the labyrinth, make a mandala with colored rice, or journal. They then shared what they will be taking out into the world from this retreat.  In touching ways, they spoke of being a lantern for others, no matter where they go.  Of continuing to live the Marist qualities of presence, simplicity, love of work, family spirit and in the way of Mary.  They still hope and pray for something to change and for their school to remain open.  But if not, they were able to acknowledge the motto “Once a Bishop, always a Bishop” as they find themselves someplace new.

The day closed with all being held in prayer, as they recited the Memorare together.  

 

 

 

 

 

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