Students have the opportunity to attend weekly Mass on Thursdays at 6:45 am in the chapel on weeks that there isn't an all-school Mass. Mater Dei celebrates an all-school Mass once or twice a month, and often has additional prayer services.
Bible Study is available weekly for guys and girls on Tuesday mornings.
All Retreats Last for the Duration of One School Day (7:25 - 2:30)
The theme of the freshmen retreat is, "Who do you say that I am?" (Mt. 16:15). Jesus asks this question to his disciples in Matthew's Gospel. The goal of this retreat is to provide the opportunity for each freshman to answer this question for themselves. During this retreat, there are witness talks given by guest speakers on the person of Jesus Christ, and more specifically on what it looks like to live as a disciple of Jesus in the world today. Games and icebreakers are sprinkled throughout the day to allow the class time to bond as a group.
In the afternoon, students are given a chance in their small groups to actually make a tool for discipleship by making their own rosaries. Baggies are provided for each student and they must follow a series of directions to construct their own personal rosary that they get to take home and keep. After we have learned and discussed who Jesus is and how to follow him, students have the chance to pray by spending time in Eucharistic Adoration. Part of this time is spent in group prayer, while another part of it is spent in silence.
The theme of the sophomore retreat is "In the image of God he created them. Male and female he created them" (Gen. 1:27). The goal of this retreat is to expose students to the basics of Christian anthropology through the lens of St. John Paul II's Theology of the Body. The goal is to give them an opportunity to deepen their faith in Jesus Christ, and to explore new ways to have happy, healthy and holy relationships. Our first speaker gives an outline of what it means to be created in the image and likeness of God, and how that should affect how we treat ourselves and others.
After students have a small group discussion, the next speaker gives a general overview of St. John Paul II's Theology of the Body. After lunch and recreation time, we invite a faithful married couple to come in and share the story of their vocation, while offering advice to the students on good relationship habits. Students then have the opportunity to ask all of our guest speakers any questions they have on dating, relationships, marriage, and God. The retreat day ends with Mass and students leave with a blessed medal of the Blessed Virgin Mary that they keep as their own.
The theme for the junior retreat is "Bread of Life." The Junior retreat was formed around the Cursillo Retreats, allowing Senior speakers to give witness talks to the junior class. These talks are themed with the ingredients of making a loaf of bread. The students work in group answering discussion questions and sharing thoughts as they work together in baking a loaf of bread. Each student receives at least one affirmation letter from parents, family, teachers etc. At the conclusion of Mass, the students return to divs and share the bread that they made during the retreat.
Questions for Speakers for Junior Retreat
1. The flour=Family: How is your family like the flour in bread? What makes it a basic ingredient of your life? Which members, in particular, give you strength? Give specific examples.
2. Salt and Sugar=Friends: Some friends are like salt; they may challenge you. Some friends are like sugar; they are supportive. Both are necessary for the yeast to work in the bread. How are your friends a necessary ingredient in your life? How do different kinds of friends make life more enjoyable?
3. Yeast=God: Bread would not be bread without the yeast; our lives would not be the same without (complete) God. Use specific examples to show how God is the yeast in your life.
4. Water and Oil: They don't mix when layered in a container, yet they are both necessary for the bread. What situation in your life is like water and oil? The ingredients don't go together, but when put into your life, it all works. Examples could be from family, friends, activities, etc.
5. Being Kneaded and Stretched: Bread has to be kneaded to become bread. We also have to be kneaded at times in our lives, to grow and become who we are supposed to be. Have you experienced a situation of kneading and stretching? Perhaps it didn't feel good at the time-it was a struggle-but as you look back, you see that it has helped you grow as a person.
The Senior Retreat theme is "Learning From the Past, Celebrating the Present, Looking to the Future." Seniors eat breakfast together and receive a brochure with questions specific to each section of the Retreat. The morning focuses on learning from mistakes, and seeking and granting forgiveness. During lunchtime, we focus on celebrating the present by allowing students time to play games and enjoy the company of peers. Before Mass, the students spend some time reflecting on and discussing their plans for the future (college, vocation).