Friday, October 16, 2009

Save The Date: Awakenings

By Sammi Powers

It’s no secret that I am a huge fan of retreats. I already wrote about this semester’s Quest retreat.

In November (I know, so far away) Campus Ministry puts on the Awakenings retreat. Unlike Quest, which is only for first year students, Awakenings is open to all grade levels.

I’ll throw this out first and foremost: Awakenings has more of a religious/spiritual/faith-based set up than Quest does. No one is shoving God or religion down your throat, but the topics and activities are more faith-centric.

I think that’s perfectly fitting, though, for a retreat put on by a catholic university’s Campus Ministry department.

Awakenings is hosted out at Camp Manitoqua in Frankfort, a favorite haunt of SXU retreats. I’ve waxed plenty idyllic about Camp Manitoqua’s grounds, and, to be honest, the grounds there are even prettier in late grips of fall. This rainy year isn’t making any promises, though.

Awakenings is modeled similarly to a number of retreats such as Kairos and TEC (that’s Teens Encounter Christ). So, many people who attended Catholic High School in the Chicagoland area are familiar with this type of retreat.

The retreat is all about awakening yourself to love. Campus Ministry sums it up nicely like this, “Awakenings creates an opportunity for you to become more fully awakened to the ever-present love of God. By allowing you to step out of your normal routines, Awakenings provides a space for reflection on your own life. Take a weekend to renew and deepen your relationship with God and to make meaningful connections with others.”

Awakenings has talks from student small group leaders, copious amounts of reflection time, activities, and free time for you to get to know the other students with whom you are sharing this journey.

Take advantage of this weekend and sign up for the retreat. If you find that November doesn’t work for you, come to the retreat in March.

Most everyone who attends the retreat come back feeling refreshed, renewed, and ready to commit themselves to continuing to live as their newly awakened selves. Retreats like this make a big difference, especially with your search for yourself.

In a lot of ways that’s just what college is: chances to not only learn from classes and books, but chances to learn about you.

Sammi Powers is a junior communications major from Romeoville. She is Peer Minister for Liturgical Ministry, deputy Viewpoints editor for The Xavierite and program director for WXAV 88.3 FM. Consideration for the student bloggers is provided by Saint Xavier University.

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