The Class of 2026 came together for a retreat held at John Paul II National Shrine and the National Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Washington last week and a night of fellowship at their Sophomore Spectacular following. These experiences help the class grow their bond as they return from summer and start a new school year.
One of the highlights for sophomore Pilar Preciado was the retreat location, which she called "beautiful." She and Alexa Stevens '26 walked through the mini museum after lunch, learning more about Pop John Paul II. "When we reached the end we found ourselves especially connected to him. We turned the corner and found there was a place to write letters to Pope John Paul II. We each wrote one note in a different language we knew and then wrote one letter together in English," said Pilar. "Behind us was a wall with letters other people had written. We were tearing up reading the letters people had written."
Alexa said, "I thought the retreat was a very positive experience that helped bring me closer to God by immersing me into the history of our faith and the experiences of our leaders."
Upon return to campus, students transitioned into their "Sophomore Sleepover," the theme for the class Spectacular. With a Gold Team vs. White Team Capture the Flag game, dinner, lawn games, a class-wide musical chairs match, Gold vs. White Team dodgeball, and lots of candy, students enjoyed time together in a more casual environment.
Coco Murray '26 said, "Going into Sophomore Spectacular I knew a lot of my grade, but as the night progressed, I had grown closer with so many people I never thought I would’ve, by trying to capture the flag with them or giving someone a high-five for getting a Gold Team member out in dodgeball. Definitely such a fun experience and it has unified our grade immensely."