2012 - 2013
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Venaver: The Retreat of a Lifetime

The Venaver retreat offers Christian Brothers’ students the opportunity to experience life on the U.S.-Mexican border. (photo credit Jennifer Lystrup) Later this semester, Ms. Anna Fernandez, Ms. Jennifer Lystrup, and ten CB students will travel to Tucson, Arizona to study the issues of the U.S.-Mexican border and will head to Nogales, Mexico to serve the […]

The Venaver retreat offers Christian Brothers’ students the opportunity to experience life on the U.S.-Mexican border.

(photo credit Jennifer Lystrup)
Later this semester, Ms. Anna Fernandez, Ms. Jennifer Lystrup, and ten CB students will travel to Tucson, Arizona to study the issues of the U.S.-Mexican border and will head to Nogales, Mexico to serve the poor. They will be staying at a school in Tucson, Christo Rey San Miguel. Venaver itself lasts from March third through the ninth, amounting to one eventful week.

The retreat offers various activities that have been described by past Venaver participants as both powerful and compassionate. During this retreat, CB students will be able to tour with the border patrol, serve the poor at the El Comedor soup kitchen, and hike in the desert to leave water for border-crossers.

However, CB students won’t undertake these tasks alone — they are going to participate in this immersion with students from Christo Rey. According to Ms. Lystrup, these activities will have a positive and educational effect on the students.

“This immersion is quite powerful and I believe transformative in how our students will understand the larger political, environmental, and humanitarian issues of the border,” she says.

CB’s very own Christian Contreras (’14) attended the October 2012 Venaver. He describes his experience at Venaver as “a very moving experience, but at the same time it was humbling.”

The scholar also adds that seeing human beings struggle at such great lengths to better themselves makes him “especially thankful” for what he already has.

Venaver acts as a kind of escape from the daily lives of teens to experience something a little different. Through Venaver, the students of Christian Brothers are reminded that they have the power to make a difference in the lives of those less fortunate.

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