Year 11 students from both sites have recently returned from two fabulous 48 hour retreats at Ampleforth that were led by Fr Bede. Everyone that went on the retreat has returned to school refreshed and ready to take on the challenges that Year 11 presents. The students have commented on how beneficial it was to have some time out of school to reflect, pray and spend quality times with friends away from the pressures of school life. The students are especially grateful to Fr Bede for leading the retreats and for so openly and honestly discussing the ‘big questions’ that they have about life and faith.
This reflection written by Twaanda and Dylan sums up wonderfully the experience the students have had on retreat:
St Bede’s and St Joseph’s Catholic College, Bradford
Year 11 Ampleforth Retreat, October 2016
Post Communion Reflection
When we were first presented with the opportunity of coming to Ampleforth everyone was interested in coming; although not fully for the right reasons. Most of us believed that it was an escape from the tough lessons and preparation for the exams. It was a trip that we initially decided to go on so that we could just have a bit of fun and a laugh with the lads.
However, it became something that none of us expected it to be. Our retreat went from being a way to get out of school to something that has really meant so much to each and every one of us and will continue to have an effect on our lives in good times and bad.
We have learnt many life lessons from Fr Bede and we are eternally grateful for everything he has taught us and for the experience we have had here at Ampleforth. From the way he has so honestly answered our questions, shared with us an insight into his life as a monk, challenged us to think from the heart rather than the head and the stories he has told us about the inspiring people he has met in his life – Fr Bede all we can say is that we have never met a man with a presence and honesty like yours. You are welcome to come to St Bede’s anytime!!
Fr Bede we would like to say on behalf of everyone here that you are an extremely special man who we will never ever forget about. You have helped to set us on a path that hopefully will lead us to finding God and finding ourselves and who we truly are. Fr Bede because of you we have realised that it is ok to take off our masks, be comfortable with who we are and take responsibility for what we do. We no longer feel right having the scapegoat mentality and for that we are thankful.
Ampleforth has nurtured a seed in us that will hopefully help us to grow in love with God and those around us.
Fr Bede is sick!! And Ampleforth is sick!! (by sick we mean the best ever!!!)
by Twaanda and Dylan