Spes: a secret kept too well


For four years, my parents and siblings begged me to go on the Hoban Spes Unica retreat. For a while, I brushed it off because I thought it would be lame, and I was not willing to give up my phone for three days. However, this year, I finally caved in and went on Spes Unica 52, knowing almost nothing about what I was getting myself into. Three days later, I walked out of the NEO Retreat Center having discovered so much about myself and many of my peers whom I would not have gotten the chance to meet outside of Spes.


I have always wondered how other Northeast Ohio private schools put on six or seven retreats a year, while Hoban is barely able to host three. Students do not understand the impact it can have on one’s life until they actually attend a retreat. This confusion stems from the secrecy surrounding the retreats, and the lack of commitment from the participants in them. 

Despite the mystery that is kept around these sacred retreats, Hoban should attempt to market them in a more outspoken way to get more students interested.

“I liked not knowing what is going to happen next,” senior Joe Stock commented, “but knowing what I was about to get myself into would have made me go on the retreat earlier.” 

In addition to the lack of advertisement, the retreat has also relaxed the tradition of asking members to give up their phones. As I willingly handed over my phone, I did not think about social media, my friends, or anything else that was going on in my life. It was a time of true self-reflection. However, the majority of attendees kept their phones and remained distracted from the true experience. 

“The absence of my phone helped me gain everything out of the experience” senior Anthony Gore added. 

Spes Unica is meant for the student to take a deep dive into their mental state and grow as a person. It is truly an incredible, life changing experience that I wish our school took to