The Year 7s at Our Lady Mercy College recently participated in their Year 7 Retreat, which spanned over two days. It seems to have been a truly transformative experience for each of our students. Through a combination of exploring the College faith story through the example of our House patrons, to delving into individual character strengths, our students gained a deeper understanding of themselves, our values, and our potential to overcome challenges faced by young people today.
One half of the Retreat was centred around the College faith story and the inspiring charism of the Sisters of Mercy. Our visit to St Patrick’s Cathedral provided a sacred space for reflection and contemplation on the College House Patrons. Exploring the history and teachings of the Sisters of Mercy gave our students a profound appreciation for the values they upheld and their impact on the Bunbury community. As well as visiting the Cathedral, our students visited the Bunbury Regional Art Gallery, which was the Mercy Sisters’ Convent and the place where Catholic education began in the region. It was a reminder that our lives are part of a larger narrative and that we have a responsibility to contribute positively to our community.
The second half of the Retreat was focused on exploring our character strengths. Our students completed the VIA character strengths survey, enabling us to identify our top and bottom strengths. Reflecting on these strengths help us to understand how we respond to certain situations, and how we can leverage our unique qualities to overcome challenges and make a positive impact in our community.
You can see below a visual representation of the character strengths that were found in each student’s top three. We encourage our wider community to complete the VIA Character Strengths survey to open up a discussion at home about our personal strengths and how we draw on them throughout our lives. A link to the survey can found here.
Overall, the Year 7 Retreat provided us with an opportunity for self-reflection and growth. It allowed us to deepen our understanding of our College faith story, history, and personal strengths. The experience of being surrounded by our peers in a supportive and nurturing environment created a sense of unity that will benefit our collective journey at Our Lady of Mercy College. The completion of this Retreat symbolises the conclusion of our Year 7's transition to high school, and we are so proud of our Year 7 students for what they have achieved so far this year. We hope that this foundation prepares each of our students for a successful high school journey at Our Lady of Mercy College.
Mr Jarrad Pisano, Head of Year 7
Mrs Karyn Cronin, Director of Ministry