Our Lady of the Sacred Heart High School

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A Unique Chi Rho Retreat Experience on the OLSH Campus

Chi Rho, an annual retreat for juniors and seniors, is one of the most unique and beloved traditions for OLSH students. The 4-day retreat is based in faith, fellowship, personal growth, and a lot of fun games! Through these various activities, students deepen their relationships with their friends and teachers, while experiencing Christ in a real and personal way.

As with many other traditions impacted by Covid-19, the retreat had to adapt due to pandemic guidelines. For the past 4 years, Chi Rho took place at Villa Maria Retreat Center in Villa Maria, PA. They could not accommodate the number of students interested in attending, so the teachers and student leaders decided to bring the Chi Rho experience home to OLSH. The leaders and retreatants stayed over on the OLSH campus from this past Thursday evening to Sunday afternoon. 

Using OLSH as a retreat center for the weekend allowed for more flexibility and social distancing for the students. They utilized the classrooms, auditorium, AAC, and cafeteria for various activities and group meals. 

Having the retreat on campus required some extra help, but the OLSH community is always one to step up. Jen Haseleu ‘14 and Madison Tanczos ‘20 assisted with the preparation and clean up for all meals and snacks throughout the weekend. Kristian Biega ‘16 played piano and sang for Saturday’s Mass in the OLSH Chapel, followed by Adoration in the AAC. 

The OLSH faculty and staff were also a huge help to Chi Rho in addition to sending their prayers and support for the attendees. Mr. Brian Molka cooked his famous pasta dinner for the retreatants on Saturday evening. Faculty leaders for the retreat were Nancy Jarocki, Jessica Sellman ‘02, Erica Hollabaugh ‘04, Caitlin Snatchko ‘10, Chase Feher, and Jeff Hulbert. 

A key feature of the retreat is student leaders. This year’s student leaders included seniors Ryan Gehring, Ellie Troiani, James Benke, Ella Wrabley, Katie Cornetti, Finn Sweeney, Marissa Trocchio, Emma Kenneweg, LJ Evans, and Alaina Marks. 

Students on the retreat also took part in the fun of seeing the Boys Basketball Team win the PA State Championship on Friday evening by live streaming the game and welcoming the Chargers back to the AAC in celebration!

Even though the participants could not fully get away at a typical retreat center, the OLSH campus provided the perfect opportunity to act as a retreat center for the weekend. In a year of so much upheaval and difficulty, the retreatants and leaders were grateful for the opportunity to still take part in this life changing retreat.