Canisius provides overnight retreat experiences for students in all four years. The progression of these programs is designed to meet young men "where they are" developmentally in social and spiritual contexts. Grounded in a strong tradition of Ignatian reflection, all retreats are focused essentially upon three primary questions: Where have I been? Where am I now? Where am I going? The freshman and sophomore retreats focus primarily upon identity and friendship, while juniors and seniors build from there to focus more fully upon spiritual life and service to others.
The mandatory Freshman Retreat provides all freshman with an opportunity to experience all that CHS has to offer while learning what it means to be a Crusader. Students spend time engaging in activities that help strengthen their brotherhood as a class, develop their understanding of the importance of reflection, broaden their awareness of the larger Canisius community, and experience first-hand what it means to be a Crusader during their time at CHS and after as an alumnus. It is a winter retreat held typically on the last weekend in February.
"Were not our hearts burning within us as He spoke to us on the road?" - Luke 24
The Emmaus experience is a long-standing tradition at Canisius High School. Centered around the post-Resurrection story of the disciples on the road to Emmaus, the reflections challenge our sophomores and leaders to recognize the presence of God in those around them. Incorporating a journey theme, the activities are appropriate for sophomores as they progress together through high school, growing in self-knowledge and faith. This retreat is not mandatory and is for sophomores only.
Kairos is a two-night, three-day experience. Building upon the foundations established as underclassmen, participants of Kairos engage in a more substantial and challenging reflective experience. An in-depth focus on relationships with family and friends helps clarify and deepen one's understanding of and relationship with Christ. Most significantly, Kairos challenges each student to embrace the Christian call to service. This, ultimately, becomes the primary focus of the retreat and the springboard for senior service projects. This retreat is not mandatory and is for juniors, transfer seniors, and select sophomores only.
The Fourth Day retreat is designed for Seniors with three aims in mind.
1: To provide the Senior with an opportunity to reflect upon his time of growth at Canisius. It will challenge him to assess the high points and the low points along his spiritual, academic, athletic, and social journey within the perspective of the values of his Ignatian education.
2: To invite each Senior to discuss his perceptions of the upcoming transition from high school to college, with a focus on spirituality, values, independence, and departure from his comfort zone.
3: To challenge each Senior to embrace the Christian call to serve the poor and marginalized that began with Kairos. Seniors are challenged to take ownership of their spirituality and internalize a lifelong commitment to the Gospel message.
There is no cost for any of the retreats. Costs are covered by tuition.