Yesterday we concluded our retreat season with the junior class retreat (the senior retreat is a stand alone one we host the morning of the prom in May). We began the morning in our gym with a series of activities, lectio divina, and a neat video montage on fear complied by Ms. Foley of our theology department. She and Ms. Zolkos, also of our theology department, conducted this portion of the retreat and did a wonderful job.
Shortly after 9am, we took buses over to Mt. Uncanoonuc in Goffstown. Our chaplain, Fr. Richard Dion, celebrated Mass for us at the lake at the base of the mountain.
Echoing St. John Paul II, we used a canoe as the altar. For the Mass readings, we used the readings of the day and ironically the Psalm refrain was, "The just one shall live on Your holy mountain, O Lord." In his homily, Fr. Richard, preaching on the gospel of the day, spoke of letting our light shine and how light was a metaphor in Jesus' time for striking out fear (which was the theme of the retreat, again ironically!).
Following Mass the students ate lunch and we began hiking the mountain a little after 11am. The mountain is very short and we actually don't go to the summit as all that is at the top are radio towers. The last time we went to the summit, Goffstown police showed up! But we did hike to two lookouts not too far from the summit, one that had a beautiful view of the mountains looking north and another of Manchester and the surrounding area.
We took a very steep trail down (called the Incline Trail) but it was quick and we were back on the buses before 1pm.
I enjoy this retreat very much as it's an opportunity to be outside, celebrate Mass in a different setting (even if two dogs joined us!), and it's kind of different. The hike is very simple and the reward at the top is well worth it.