The students used the Subiaco Retreat House, located on the grounds of St. Benedict Monastery in Oxford, as a base for operations and traveled throughout the area to help the elderly and marginalized in the local community with home repairs, renovations and other odd jobs as a way to give back.
Projects included rebuilding decks, laying new floors, cleaning garages, painting a barn, renovating a bathroom and general yardwork cleanup.
In the evenings, the students participated in activities designed to strengthen their spirituality.
Kathy Galbraith, the director of youth education at St. Joseph’s has been organizing the popular service retreat for more than two decades. At the Thursday evening ‘Thanksgiving Dinner’ with parents, volunteers, students and some of the recipients of the service projects, Galbraith said, “I am so blessed to be able to work with this group of teenagers and thankful to all the volunteers who helped mentor the students, provided food and managed the more difficult projects. I believe the Lord showed his presence many times this week.”
Galbraith said the theme for the weeklong adventure was “exhale.”
Several recently graduated high school seniors, including Notre Dame’s Glen Watza, spoke to the students about the importance of finding time to slow down, exhale and allow God into your lives. Notre Dame donated the use of a bus to transport the students to a pre-retreat team-building session at Tamarack Camps in Ortonville on Sunday.
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About Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy
Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy is a private, Catholic, independent, coeducational day school located in Oakland County. The school's upper division enrolls students in grades nine through twelve and has been named one of the nation's best 50 Catholic high schools (Acton Institute) four times since 2005. Notre Dame's middle and lower divisions enroll students in jr. kindergarten through grade eight. All three divisions are International Baccalaureate "World Schools." NDPMA is conducted by the Marist Fathers and Brothers and is accredited by the Independent Schools Association of the Central States and the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement. For more on Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy, visit the school's home page at www.ndpma.org.