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Annual Sixth Form Dinner & Retreat Shed Light on Students' Hopes for the Year

Kelly Slonaker

Monday, September 9 was a day marked with many handshakes, a lot of hugs, and yes—some tears—for our Sixth Formers. The last first day of their high school careers culminated in the annual Sixth Form Dinner & Retreat, a tradition which honors the senior class and emphasizes the importance of their role at the School.

The evening began with a formal dinner and an address to the 107 member class from Mrs. Stone, who remarked that her journey as Head of School at Canterbury began at the same time as the 46 diehard (4-year) students in the form. “During that fall of 2016, we were all new and figuring things out, of course, and I want to thank the class of 2020 for collectively being my copilot for these first three—now heading into four—years on our hilltop. You have played a critical role in the tone and traditions that exist today, and you will always be my first 4-year diehard class.”

After dinner, the VI Form took part in a time-honored tradition: faculty form a line around the room, and each student shakes the hand of each faculty member. This tradition comes full circle at the VI Form’s Commencement in May, bookending the students’ final year with a moment of gratitude, reflection, and connection with their teachers, coaches, advisors, dorm parents—and for some—their actual parents.

Afterward, the VI Formers headed up to the Copley Library, where students participated in table discussions about their Canterbury memories and experiences—both their best and most challenging—and what they envision for their final year at the School. Brigida Caruso, a Sacristan, VI Form Council member and Day Student Leader, addressed the class with her hopes for the year: “As we begin our final year on the hilltop, I hope that we will make a class effort to show up, be present, and experience things that we haven’t before, seeking out ways that remind us that we are in this together.”

To end the retreat, VI Formers had the opportunity to write a letter to themselves with their own hopes, prayers and intentions for the year. The letters will be opened again during their VI Form Reflections Retreat in May—another example of the full revolution of thoughtful reflection afforded a Canterbury student. The VI Formers were also able to write their prayers and intentions on scrolls to be placed on the altar at the Chapel of Our Lady and blessed by Father Mark at the opening Mass of the Holy Spirit on September 14.

More photos of the VI Form Dinner & Retreat can be found on our Flickr page.