One of the defining experiences of grade 12 is the Encounter retreat weekend. It's the culmination of a retreat program that starts in grade 8 and continues every year at LFA.
In the cycle of the Little Flower Academy school routine, each girl is given the opporuntiy to take part in the Encounter retreat. The three day retreat at a camp near Cultas Lake offers our students an opportunity to step away from the hectic pace of high school demands and focus on their spiritual journies and the positive relationships that make live meaningful.
Spiritual growth is an essential part of what makes LFA so special. Concentrating on campus ministry and the retreat program is integral to how we, as a school, play our role in fostering a sense of self confidence and empowerment in our students. One student commented how the retreat experience "helped me realize that I will always have a strong support system in my peers as well as in God, and has helped me to understand that I am truly loved. Encounter has made a positive impact in my life and has changed me for the better. It is an amazing, unforgettable experience and I will definitely continue to carry on the spirit of Encounter with me for years to come."
Donors enable Encounter, as they enable retreats at every grade level. Retreats are subsidized to ensure their affordability and their resources. Gifts specifically to the Spirituality in Education Fund are invested directly in these formative experiences, as well as in our Campus Ministry program more generally.
These gifts, moreover, are significant in that the students are truly and immediately appreciative for the experience they've received. "I feel blessed and honoured to have gone on Encounter," was a reflection shared by another participant, "and I am grateful to all who supported and continue to support grads in their spiritual growth."
In the end, though, it's about impact, which is expressed so warmly by a participant from Encounter 14: "Encounter has truly changed my life. I can’t even begin to express what an impact it has had on me… while it taught me a great deal about others, I also learned a lot about myself."