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Faith, Knowledge, Service…. The Freshmen Experience - Mission Immersion

The three tenet 
retreat experience is intended to immerse the freshman class in the school’s mission from the moment that they step on campus. Together, they serve to unite the class in mind, body, and soul, bringing them to a common place of shared experience and shared memories.

The Mission Immersion journey begins in the fall with a faith retreat to Occidental. Led by upperclassmen and staff, the freshmen experience a beautiful outdoor Mass in the Cathedral of the Redwoods, during which they contemplate God’s call for each of them through hearing faith witness talks from our upperclassmen. Students also listen to their retreat leaders’ stories and see firsthand how God has worked in the lives of our juniors and seniors. Students share personal insights in small group settings before heading back to campus to conclude the day. The purpose of this retreat is to impart upon each freshman the hope and consolation that God will guide them on their next four years with us and to reinforce the idea that Marin Catholic offers a comprehensive spiritual support system to each student.

A faith foundation provides freshman students a purpose and call to add wisdom to the knowledge they are gaining in the classroom. Through the knowledge retreat, students come into a more profound understanding of their role within the global community as a steward of natural resources. Guided by rangers from Marin County Parks and Open Space, the freshman biology classes spend a day exploring King Mountain in Larkspur to discover how native and non-native plants interact with one another. The freshmen especially enjoy the up close and personal attention from some friendly snakes, lizards, and beetles. Campus Minister Nicole Ferris recalls, “The majesty of King Mountain and discovering the intricate details of animal life remind our students that we belong to something greater, a Creator, who has connected us all through the beauty and elements of creation.”

The final freshman experience is one that hopefully all students will continue after their years of high school -- that is, the experience of serving those who are most in need in our society. We are called to live out the Corporal Works of Mercy by feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, visiting the sick, welcoming strangers, and clothing the naked in our own community. The freshmen begin this graduation requirement with the hopes that they will grow in empathy and maturity as they care for those who could benefit tremendously from love and attention. These opportunities renew the appreciation for and understanding of the value of service. Engaging students in this way teaches them to be caring, thoughtful and effective community members who are confident in their ability to make a profound difference in local sectors and in the world as a whole.

By involving the freshmen in this three pillar experience, the class learns firsthand that our mission of Faith, Knowledge, and Service is at the focal point of Marin Catholic’s vision. The students, through Mission Immersion, are able to enter their sophomore year with greater confidence and empathy.