As we move deeper into the semester, Campus Ministries’ retreats are quickly approaching. This semester, Campus Ministries will offer a variety of retreats both at the Chapman Lake Retreat Center and in nature settings.
The three Connections retreats, which are designed to help first-year students make connections and help guide them in the transition to college life, took place over the past two weekends at the Retreat Center. Over the weekend of fall break, the Mother-Daughter Retreat will also be held at the Retreat Center.
One of the two retreats in nature settings, the Soul Men’s Retreat is entering its second year as the only retreat currently in place geared specifically towards men. Michael Decarli, a sophomore who went on the retreat last year, says that this retreat involves activities outside in addition to talking and reflection.
“This retreat is geared more towards male spirituality, and seeing what it means to be a man of substance. You delve into areas of a male life that involve things like mentors and evaluating your actions,” Decarli said.
The Soul Men’s Retreat will take place over the weekend of Sept. 29 – Oct. 1.
Back at Chapman Lake, the second and third weekends in October will feature the 3 Day Silent Retreat and the Mystery Retreat, respectively. The 3 Day Silent Retreat is considered by some to be one of Campus Ministries’ spiritually deeper getaways, and as the name suggests it asks that the retreatants spend the weekend largely in silence. The Mystery Retreat, meanwhile, focuses on relating “the basics” of Roman Catholicism to the experiences a student has on an everyday basis in college.
Following those two retreats, from Nov. 10-12, one of the more popular retreats at The University, Search, will be held at Chapman Lake. Students can register for this retreat beginning as sophomores, and typically are placed on a waiting list before being offered a spot on the retreat, which runs three times each academic year.
Most students who take part in the Search Retreat describe it as a life-altering experience. Senior Maria Revueltas said that Search is special to her because the Search community is one in which you never feel alone.
“When you feel you have nowhere to go, Search is somewhere you can go where you know you’re not alone,” Revueltas said.
The weekend after Search, the last retreat before the end of the semester will be the Manresa Retreat, which explores life’s essential questions.
Campus Ministries also has some trips over winter break, including the Desert Experience Retreat. The Desert Experience Retreat takes place immediately after final exams are over, and students fly out to Las Vegas, NV, on the way to Death Valley, CA. There, they spend five days hiking various landscapes while reflecting on various Christian themes.
Students can register for these retreats at any time by visiting the Campus Ministries’ Retreats portal on RoyalSync, with the exception of Search. Students who wish to register for Search must visit the Campus Ministries office and fill out an application.
*All retreat descriptions are courtesy of Campus Ministries