By James “Buffalo” Saint Amour ’10
Almost everyone at this school has heard of how St. Ignatius of Loyola traveled to the city of Manresa in Spain, where he meditated and started to develop his spiritual exercises.
Brophy has its own retreat center named after St. Ignatius’s Manresa nestled in the bottom of Oak Creek Canyon, north of Sedona.
“Manresa is a great place to forget yourself for a while,” said Brophy teacher Mr. Mike Welty ’83.
Brophy’s retreat is certainly a nice place, but for others the word “Manresa” can be a four letter word.
“It’s wonderful for 51 weeks out of the year,” said Jonothan Londono ’10 who has traveled with the Brophy football team three times now for the annual summer camp week, but that 52nd week brings a much different feel.
The Brophy Football team spends one week towards the end of summer up at Manresa. During this week the team has practice twice a day, along with outdoor workouts in the volleyball pit, meetings over team strategy, team building exercises and little time for sleep.
It is meant to push players to the edge, and then bring them together as an inseparable unit.
But even in the middle of a football retreat one can find solace in the canyon where Manresa sits often retreatants take a hike up the cliff and can bask in the beauty of nature that is so apparent there.
“The scenic beauty and the silence are just the ticket for anyone who needs to listen for the voice of God that sometimes gets drowned out in the distractions and noise of everyday life,” Said Mr. Welty.
The retreat center consists of five bunk houses, a main lodge and an all wooden Chapel at the far north of the center.
Manresa is maintained by Mr. and Mrs. Doug and Laurlie Drotzmann who live just across the creek from Manresa.
The couple and their family are responsible for most of the work that happens around the facility both when students are there, and when the camp is empty.
Mr. Drotzmann is also the head chef when groups are at Manresa cooking breakfast, lunch, dinner and a midnight snack.
There are several types of retreats that Brophy offers at Manresa: Magis for sophomores and juniors and Kairos for juniors and seniors.
In addition to these, numerous sports and extracurricular programs such as football, baseball, speech and debate and the big brothers use the retreat center for team building and retreats.
“We are so fortunate to have a place like that,” Mr. Welty said.