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Center for Ignatian Identity & Formation

What does it mean to find God in all things?

Whatever your faith background, you’ll discover who or what God is in your life and build that relationship. You’ll seek and find that connection through retreats with classmates, service with the marginalized, and co-curriculars that challenge you to grow in your faith.

Retreats for a New Perspective

for a New Perspective




Our unique program of retreats offer valuable opportunities to connect with others, explore faith, and cement our role within the world. Usually taking place over two-four days, they range from living amongst Trappist monks or hiking New Hampshire’s White Mountains to sampling Boston’s diverse culinary offerings.

No matter your grade or religious affiliation, you can discover more about yourself, your fellow students, and your personal faith at a BC High retreat.

In our Discover Retreat, students reflect on their abilities and needs while discovering what they have to offer the world. In our Photography Retreat, we explore how the camera’s lens can give us new perspectives on the Divine.

In addition to being “time away,” we like to think of retreats as “time inward”—a chance to reflect and contemplate in order to recharge and renew. BC High students report emerging from our retreats with a heightened sense of purpose and focus: whether it’s on newfound skills and knowledge, a deepened relationship with God, or a renewed commitment to service in the name of justice for all humanity.

Students are formed spiritually through our Jesuit, Catholic identity and tradition:


Kairos Retreat

Craigville Community Center, Cape Cod What happens at the Kairos Retreat? Until you attend, the day-to-day events of this signature “crossroads” experience remain a mystery—and that’s part of its power. Translated from the Greek as “significant moment,” the Kairos retreats encourage you to define your own relationship with God as you walk in Christ’s footsteps.

Along with other students, faculty and staff members, you’ll participate in a series of events designed to help you discover God in a personal way, respond to God’s call, and live the message of Christ. Many students report emerging with a stronger sense of self and purpose, as well as a feeling of being closely bonded with fellow Kairos participants.

  • 7th grade retreat

    Focused on the theme, Stewards of the Earth; we partner with local organizations offering each of our students the opportunity to show respect for the earth through park & beach clean ups as well as gardening and urban farming programs.

  • 8th grade retreat

    Focused on the theme, Cura Personalis, care of the person and on the act and ministry of being present, each student will volunteer at a local home for the elderly or an assisted living facility in the area.

  • Freshman retreat

    How will you be created by your new community? How will you be part of its creation moving forward? These are just some of the questions you’ll answer in this deeply spiritual welcome to BC High.

  • Sophomore retreat

    Who are you? How is your unique essence shaped by your environment and circumstances? The sophomore retreat invites you to question yourself and deepen your spiritual journey as part of your religion seminar.

During Junior and Senior year, our students are provided the opportunity to choose their own retreat experience. Some of the offerings include:

  • Discover Retreat

    How do you make good decisions? How do you find your focus in an anxious world? During this retreat at the Toah Nipi Retreat Center in New Hampshire, you’ll reflect on your talents, abilities, joys, and needs in order to help determine what you can contribute to the world.

  • The Monastic Retreat

    Break away from modern anxieties and live among Trappist monks in the beautiful hills of Spencer, MA. You’ll learn the art of monastic prayer by chanting the psalms, living and walking in silence, and practicing lectio divina (silent reading), while getting the chance to unplug and reflect on your personal relationship with God.

  • Grandeur Wilderness Retreat

    This retreat is for adventurous students who want to experience nature in all its beauty and challenges. You’ll spend your days hiking New Hampshire’s high-elevation White Mountain trails; praying; enjoying the silence; and getting to know your fellow explorers.

  • Glory and Beauty Retreat

    See how God is revealed in art as you attend museums, exhibitions, concerts, and plays throughout Greater Boston. You’ll also get to try your hand at incorporating God in your own artistic creations: visual, musical, or dramatic.

  • Soul Food Retreat

    Have fun and eat your heart out during the Soul Food Retreat! We’ll sample Boston’s largest bowl of Ramen, spend six hours slow-cooking a barbecue dinner, and cook and share a meal with the students at Nativity Prep’s after-school program—all in an attempt to demonstrate how food can bring us together.

  • St. Louis Project - Homeless Retreat

    Held weekly over the course of several afternoons, this one-of-a-kind retreat encourages you to get to know your community better by preparing and distributing simple healthy meals to people suffering from homelessness and poverty in Boston. After distributing meals and getting to know the people we’re serving, we come together in contemplation and prayer.

  • Movie Retreat

    Can watching movies be a spiritual experience? The answer may surprise you. During this retreat, we’ll watch four movies that illustrate a particular theme from the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. After each, we’ll have a lively discussion about the themes and connections to our Jesuit tradition.

  • Photography Retreat

    Does God look different through a camera’s lens? The Photography Retreat will walk through the book “God is at Eye Level: Photography as a Healing Art” by Jan Phillips, discuss recurring themes in religion and photography, and offer the opportunity to try your hand at taking and developing your own images, too.

  • Arts in the City

    See how God is revealed in art as you attend museums, exhibitions, concerts, and plays throughout Greater Boston.

  • New York City Pilgrimage

    This pilgrimage retreat is designed to touch upon many elements of Ignatian spirituality, particularly pilgrimage and encountering the lives of people who greatly impacted our world in sacred ways. St. Ignatius always referred to himself as “the pilgrim;” it was an existential state he sought to constantly inhabit. We will visit different “cathedrals” like St. Patrick’s, the 9/11 Memorial, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker house, and more!

Kairos is a powerful experience — the equivalent to an emotional roller coaster. It is formative, powerful, and rewarding. There is nothing more fulfilling than watching the slow work of God take hold in someone’s life.

Sean Manning ’15

Outreach Projects

Outreach is a way to walk with our students and build kinship with those on the margins.  These projects allow us to witness our students’ growth and engagement with our mission, as well as further develop our connection between our work and those marginalized.

  • Cardenal Project

    Citizenship classes whereby students and community members work with local immigrant students to prepare them for their USCIS citizenship interviews.  We teach both civics and ESL. This project is done in partnership with St. Marks Community Education Program.

  • K4PB - Kids for Peace, Boston

    A partnership with the local organization that focuses on bringing teens together from a multi-faith perspective to engage and talk about issues facing them and their communities.    build community and connection.

  • Mother Theresa Project

    We travel weekly  to an afterschool program in Charlestown to build awareness and friendships with the students’ peers who are differently-abled and have significant impairments (e.g. verbal, intellectual).

  • St. Mark's ESL Classes

    Our partnership with a local nonprofit that offers classes in ESL to local immigrants.  Our students serve as tutors.

  • St. Louis Project

    Our outreach program to those who are unhoused and living in the Downtown Crossing/Boston Common areas of the city.

    In 2013, four BC High seniors launched the St. Louis Project, named for the French saint known for bringing food from his castle to share with the poor. As part of this ongoing project, students and faculty gather weekly to prepare sandwiches, water, and healthy snacks. They then travel by the T to Downtown Crossing, where they share these simple meals with local Bostonians struggling with homelessness, hunger, and poverty while engaging them in conversation. The group then comes together for reflection and prayer in the Common before taking the T back to school.

    Students who participate in the project quickly learn that this is about more than just food. It’s about developing a deep compassion for individuals from different economic backgrounds, and learning to advocate for them in a way that’s authentic and understanding.