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The Junior Catalyst Retreat Changes with a Purpose

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In chemistry, a catalyst is defined as a substance that speeds up the rate of a chemical reaction, without undergoing any chemical change itself. The last part of that definition is where Benet’s Catalyst retreats differ from a chemical catalyst. The popular retreat for juniors has undergone much change in just the past few years.

The mission of the retreat remains the same: to bring the junior class closer together and closer to Christ. Catalyst builds solidarity among students by focusing on challenges that all high school students face. Over the years, the three main topics discussed at Catalyst have remained the same: rejection, how a friend has helped you, and how you have helped a friend. The students break into small groups to discuss these topics and other topics which they may struggle. These small group discussions remain the heart and soul of the Catalyst experience.

Catalyst has changed in other areas as well. Senior Kaylee Harris organizes Catalyst along with Mr. Kevin Veselik. Kaylee has attended Catalyst five times and will be attending her sixth this April. Over her three years of attending, Catalyst has seen a variety of minor tweaks. Some of these alterations include getting rid of overnight retreats, the use of the chapel for part of the retreat, and the addition of mass and adoration to the schedule. These logistical tweaks pale in comparison to the retreat’s more intangible changes. “The overall feel of the retreat has changed for the better,” Harris reports. “There’s more bonding in the small groups, the kids get more out of it, and the groups tend to stick together even after the retreat.”

In addition to this growth, the upcoming April 8th retreat has more change in store. For the first time, small groups will meet in classrooms on the third floor of St. Joseph hall. This measure is to provide small groups more privacy and comfort for sensitive discussions.

Spots are still available for the last Catalyst retreat of the year. Those juniors who have not yet attended should most certainly consider attending. Otherwise, they would miss out on one of the greatest programs Benet has to offer its students. No matter the changes over time, Catalyst has stayed the same at its heart: committed to building lasting relationships within the junior class and with the Lord.

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The Junior Catalyst Retreat Changes with a Purpose