Connection with Self, Others, and God
O’Dowd offers a series of special and distinctive retreats for each grade level, all with the purpose of growing deeper in our relationships with ourselves, each other, and God. Through fun activities and games, small group discussion and prayer, students get time away from everyday life to deeply reflect on their faith, relationships, struggles and joys. In retreat, we ask ourselves: where have I been and where am I going? It’s an opportunity for transformation, for profound change, and a new encounter with the Holy Spirit.
9th Grade Welcome Retreat
This one-day retreat brings the entire 9th grade class together for a day of welcome and community building. Led by seniors, the aim of this retreat is to make sure our new 9th grade Dragons feel at home on campus. In icebreakers and small breakout groups, incoming students find new, affirming peer connections, including opportunities to learn about clubs, affinity groups, and sports they may want to join.
10th Grade Superhero Retreat
Located in a beautiful nature setting, this two-day/one-night retreat focuses on confidence and leadership. Facilitated by two O’Dowd graphic novelists, current art teacher Thien Pham and former teacher and bestselling author Gene Yang, students reflect on the superhero story and how their differences can make them more powerful. Led by seniors from the Campus Ministry team, this retreat supports students to discover and celebrate their unique identities.
Junior Kairos Retreat
This capstone retreat experience is held over three-days/two-nights in a relaxing, tranquil setting. Kairos is a Greek word for ‘God’s Time,’ and this retreat is an especially transformative experience because each activity is designed to build a foundation of trust and growth between class members. After a dynamic three days together, students return to their lives with a new perspective.
Senior Discernment Retreat
On this two-day/one-night retreat, our seniors reflect on who they are becoming. During a relaxing and quiet time with friends, away from the busy pace of the final year of high school, students have a profound opportunity to integrate their O’Dowd experience and prepare to go forward, feeling confident about the future - including college and beyond.
Karen Yavorsky, Retreat Coordinator
Originally from San Francisco, Karen earned a BS in Psychology at UC Davis and a Masters of Divinity from the Jesuit School of Theology at Santa Clara University. Since 2019, she has empowered O’Dowd students with the spiritual and social tools to create a better world.