FALL 2019 UNDERGRADUATE RETREAT
During the weekend of October 18-20, 38 undergraduates and our FOCUS missionaries, traveled to Kennebunk, Maine for a retreat at the Franciscan Guest House. The retreat leader was Bill Donaghy from the Theology of the Body Institute. Below, students share their thoughts from the weekend.
"I came in excited to reconnect with God and received many gifts throughout the retreat. First, the location, Franciscan Guest House in Kennebunk, Maine, was a beautiful place full of nature and a 10-minute walk from a beach. Being close to that much beautiful nature made me feel immensely blessed. The second was the statue of the Virgin Mary on location; it was so beautiful and allowed me to feel closer to Her as well as to Her Son. Lastly, I had one of the most special experiences with God during adoration. For the first time in a long time, my mind was at peace and all I wanted to do was look at Him through the holy sacrament and admire him. It was a beautiful experience and I feel blessed to have been able to be a part of it. I came out feeling closer to God and with many new friendships, which was a nice bonus."
Marcela “Marcee” Agreda ‘20
"The recent CSA retreat was an opportunity for me to reexamine where I see God in my life. On campus I often neglect to perceive God in my daily routine, or in my surroundings. The retreat, however, reminded me that God's love and glory are revealed in the beauty of the world, and that he providentially created even the smallest of things."
Caleb Stickney ’21
"The CSA fall retreat was much needed during the chaos of this semester. It felt truly joyful to remember that our life is not defined by the anxieties and hardships that we face on campus, although it may seem so sometimes. Not only were we able to learn about the great work of Pope John Paul, II, a saint dear to my heart, but we did so while surrounded by the natural beauty of Kennebunkport, Maine!"
Frances Choi ‘21
"The retreat was a wonderful opportunity to relax and take a break from the busyness of the semester. It was also a unique experience to think differently about the world.
By his fascinating speeches and presentations, Bill Donaghy took us for a trip to the Garden of Eden, where simply being a human regained its original spiritual dimension. We put the glasses of a theological perspective and realized the beauty inscribed in human nature. Thus we understood that the Church’s teaching helps us to embrace true love, a precious gift often hidden in the modern culture.
The time spent in nature, with friends, and with Lord Jesus prepared me to return to daily tasks with more energy and passion. I’d recommend the retreat to anyone, and especially to those who have never tried it before!"
Pawel Rybacki ‘21