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Filled to the Brim

by Rachel Frey, associate director, Mary Ann Remick Leadership Program

Remick Leaders in conversation at mid-year retreat

Image of Remick Leaders listening to a talk at retreatThe annual Remick Mid-Year Retreat provided a much-needed pause amid a busy semester and school year that allowed Remick Leaders an opportunity to reconnect with their community. In addition to the important community building that occurs throughout the three days, the retreat is designed, first and foremost, as an opportunity for spiritual growth for the leaders. As a program, we have found that pausing is the hardest part of the retreat. So rarely are school leaders afforded the opportunity to truly step away from the busyness of their day-to-day life, that protecting time within the rapid pace of the program is a critical piece of their formation as spiritual leaders of their schools. 

This year, the guiding theme of the retreat was John’s account of the Wedding at Cana. Kevin Baxter, director of the Remick Leadership Program, and Besty Okello, assistant teaching professor for the Remick Leadership Program, led leaders through two movements. The first, The Invitation, highlighted Jesus’ reluctance to perform his first miracle. KeKevin Baxter giving a talk at the Remick retreatvin shared how, even seasoned leaders, may not feel qualified to tackle the task at hand. Sharing his own lived experience as a Catholic school leader, Kevin encouraged Remick Leaders to answer their call to leadership and feel confident in the gifts that God has given them. In the second movement, Filling to the Brim, Betsy reflected on the idea that not only did Jesus turn water into wine, but he turned the water into the best wine and filled all of the empty jugs to the very brim. She called Remick Leaders to remember that our God is a God of abundance and to identify resurrection moments in their daily lives. 

Basking in the glorious Arizona sun and a truly spiritual space, Remick Leaders had the opportunity to reflect and process their growth thus far. School leadership can be an isolating experience. We believe that providing Remick Leaders with the space to grow spiritually and process their realities and lived experiences is always done best in community. Together, we find the strength to continue to be disciples with hope to bring.