Obviously, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed many things about school life at IWA. But one of the things it can't change is our commitment to helping young women live out their faith and be sisters to each other.
Every year, the school offers retreats for each of its classifications. They are days of activities, discussion and prayer, designed to help the students bond, learning more about each other and themselves.
This year's Freshman Retreat, "Fly High: Called to break out of your shell and grow into your butterfly wings," took place Oct. 28. In a nod to the precautions necessary because of the pandemic, the event was held on campus (retreats are usually held at the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart or a retreat center) and hosted on a Wednesday, which is an all-remote learning day for the student body.
They took part in activities that centered on how they could grow, as high school students, in their sisterhood together and in their faith. The day's agenda was designed by IWA's Campus Ministry Team. There was even a special DIY retreat for IWA's remote learners, which offered self-guided reflections and activities.
"I am so proud of the work the CMT put into this event," said Ana Paula Panzarini, IWA's campus minister. "They have been so creative and so dedicated to finding ways to keep us together as a community."
Faculty and students clearly felt the event was a success.
"It was so great to hear them giggle and bond together," said Mrs. Kathleen Kelly, who teaches freshman English. "It really warmed by heart."
"The Freshmen are beaming this morning!" reported Mrs. Catherine Neaves, who teaches freshman social studies, the day after the retreat. "Everyone did such a great job!"