Cristo Rey Lions’ Retreat on Peace and Inner Joy

February 22, 2023

Dan Dougherty, President, Cristo Rey New York High School

Cristo Rey New York High School is a co-sponsored ministry of the Society of the Holy Child Jesus.

On January 26th, Cristo Rey New York High School’s Class of 2024 ventured out to Mariandale Retreat Center in Ossining, New York, for a day devoted to peace.

During the first part of the retreat, students were asked to look inward and understand which elements of their lives made them feel joyful. They received a copy of a letter from Fra Giovanni, written on Christmas Eve, 1513 A.D.

In Fra Giovanni’s letter, he states, “Life is so generous a giver, but we, judging its gifts by the covering, cast them away as ugly, or heavy, or hard. Remove the covering and you will find beneath it a living splendor, woven of love, by wisdom, with power.” The students learned that the goal of this passage is to teach the importance of meeting life with grace. When we are able to do so, we recognize the depth and power of our joy and contentment and ultimately recognize the beautiful gift each day is.

The next part of the retreat focused on our students’ relationships with one another. We asked the students to consider how they positively impact each other. We also asked them to try and hold their positive interactions at the center of their thoughts, remembering how encouraging and harmonious friendships have made them feel. The result is a peaceful community that we name Cristo Rey New York.

The day concluded with a renewed appreciation for the gift of one another and our community as a whole. Long live CRNY!

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