Two former Mount Carmel School Teachers of the Year, Carmen Agulto (left) and Shirley Duenas-Kapileo, share a fun moment during an energizer at the school’s annual Employee Spiritual Retreat held at the Maturana House of Prayer in Navy Hill.

Mount Carmel School employees bond at Annual Spiritual Retreat

RECENTLY, Mount Carmel School faculty, staff, and administrators participated in a spiritual retreat at the Maturana House of Prayer in Navy Hill. Held every year, the retreat gives the school’s employees an opportunity to reflect on their vocation and to cultivate deeper connections with each other and their school.

The retreat was spearheaded by the school’s campus minister and counselor, Vir Abueme, along with fellow counselor, Tobed Smith. Abueme and Smith both decided to focus the retreat on helping teachers learn more about each other. According to Smith, ‘With our growing student population, our faculty have also grown and we have quite a few new teachers, so this will help us all get along better and work together better.”

School president, Galvin Deleon Guerrero, agreed with Smith’s sentiments. He said, “It’s important that as we grow as a school, we do not lose that sense of family that has always made us who we are. So it’s great to see veteran teachers and new teachers get along so well at this retreat.”

Deleon Guerrero also noted the significance of holding the retreat at Maturana, which is named after Blessed Mother

Margarita Maturana, one of the founding mothers of the Mercedarian Missionaries of Berriz. “This place is sacred because it’s the home of our school’s founding mothers, and it’s only fitting that we come back here and give back to them.” In addition to paying a nominal fee for use of the facility, the school also decided to have the food catered by Maturana instead of going with an outside caterer.

Mount Carmel School faculty, staff, and administrators posted praise notes for each other before a Crucifix at the school’s annual Employee Spiritual Retreat held at the Maturana House of Prayer in Navy Hill.

School principal, Frances Taimanao, was very happy with that decision. She said, “Not only are we helping the sisters, but the food is also very healthy and very tasty. I couldn’t be happier!”

Taimanao is also happy that all student retreats throughout the year will be held at Maturana, a tradition that dates back to Maturana’s earliest days. “We are committed to helping the sisters who helped our school so much. And there’s no better way than for our students to find spiritual renewal here at Maturana.”

Students will begin their respective retreats in mid-October, which will continue throughout the school year. Each retreat is preceded by an opportunity to partake in the Sacrament of Reconciliation which leads into a mass that kicks off each retreat. The rest of the retreat includes prayer, reflection, and group-building activities.

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