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Boys and girls in Rudiments (year 8) at Stonyhurst St Mary’s Hall attended their annual retreat at Whalley Abbey, on Monday 25th April.
The day is an opportunity for the pupils to step away from their usual school environment to give them time to reflect as individuals on their relationship with God and with each other.
The theme this year was the Jesuit Pupil Profile virtue of Discernment. The children explored how they make decisions and choices in everyday life and how these can lead to a closer relationship with God.
There were also opportunities for prayer and reflection, throughout the day, in the chapel.
Although the weather was cool, the children enjoyed the beautiful grounds and the 14th century abbey ruins as well as a delicious lunch.
Towards the end of the day, they were joined by Dr Caroline Hull and Miss Kitty Hanley (a former pupil of SMH). They gave an inspiring and moving talk about decisions, social media and the work of Aid to the Church in Need. Dr Hull spoke of the efforts of ordinary people in highlighting the plight of displaced persons and refugees and their willingness to get involved.
She urged the pupils to recognise that they too can make a contribution through the positive use of social media. The children created a virtual “wall of hope”. This is based on a project in Homs, Syria where a scout group got a community together to decorate a ruined street in the Christian quarter of the city. This was to show the world that they would stay and build something new out of the rubble. Rudiments pupils started this off by creating the first part of the virtual wall.
Before departing, everyone gathered once more in the chapel, to reflect on the day together as they prayed the Jesuit Examen.
SMH Lay Chaplain