Marist Brothers' Center at Esopus
Through our valued connection to the Marist Brothers, the SJR community enjoys access to the Marist Brothers’ Center in Esopus, New York. The property stretches 120 acres of beautiful grounds along the Hudson River, making it an ideal respite for our students from the demands of daily life to encounter God in the nature, through prayer, and through community with each other.
Under the guidance of the Marist Brothers, SJR faculty, and upperclassmen peer leaders, students participate in spiritual and leadership development on overnight retreats at the MBCE. The retreats include Freshman Community Weekend, Outdoor Adventure, Encounter Retreats, LaValla Service Weekend, and the Marist Youth Leadership Gatherings. Many Marist events bring together students from multiple Marist schools across the country and across borders to add a dynamic of diversity.
Mid-Hudson Valley Summer Camps
After each school year, the MBCE transitions from retreat center to summer camp called the Mid-Hudson Valley Summer Camps. Over the 9 weeks of summer, there will be 8 one week sleepaway camps for populations with special needs, children with cancer, and children from the inner city. The staff for these camps is primarily volunteers from Marist Brothers' schools across the country. Many Green Knights who volunteer continue to do so long after they graduate from SJR. In 2019, about 60 current and alumni Green Knights volunteered for over 10,000 hours at the Esopus camps.
Alex Malfa '19 has been a peer leader for retreats and an Esopus summer camp volunteer. He summed up his experiences at the Retreat Center, saying "Esopus has become a second home for me over the past four years. It has allowed me to build great relationships with my fellow classmates, kids from all over the country and most importantly, it strengthened my relationship with God to the best it has ever been."
The feeling of a home away from home expressed by Alex is felt by all who have been up to Esopus. The place truly has a sense of God's presence, whether through encountering God while reflecting on retreats or encountering God in the less fortunate children while volunteering to help give them the best week of their year.