Eighteen high school seniors spent today (Friday, March 30) at the Nazareth Motherhouse in activities that looked for all the world like silliness and play.
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But the point of the annual daylong retreat for senior girls was much more serious: To help them understand the challenge of being faithful to themselves as they move into adulthood and the next phases of their lives.
Girls from Sacred Heart High School in Salina and St. Xavier High School in Junction City took part in the program, let by Sisters Beverly Carlin, Julie Christensen, Anna Marie Broxterman and Polly Kukula.
To keep the group energized after lunch with the Sisters of St. Joseph in the Motherhouse dining room, Sister Julie led an exercise in “mirroring,” in which one girl led the gestures and movement as her partner attempted to exactly follow, or mirror, those actions. The idea, Sister Julie said, was to maintain eye contact and do the exercise in silence — but that proved too much of a task for a room full of teenage girls. Amidst giggles, each pair tried to be perfect mirrors.
In real life, Sister Julie asked at the end of the exercise, who do we try to mirror? Whose actions do we try to copy, and why do we do that?
As the girls go into unfamiliar situations after high school graduation — whether it be college or a job or the military — they will find themselves copying the actions of people around them as they try to get comfortable and fit in, Sister Julie said. “But the one person who is always there, who should always be a reflection of the true you, is the person looking in the mirror,” she told the group.
Also taking part today was Alice Jones, a senior at Kansas State University, who talked to the girls about her own transition from high school to college.
Other presentations during the day focused on the emotions that come from being out of our comfort zone and finding the courage to take risks.
The girls also joined the sisters for Mass at the Motherhouse.