Retreat searches students’ souls

By Gail Katherine Ziegler
March 30, 2006

Laura Gorgol

Recently, a group of students went on a retreat to look inside themselves to evaluate their relationships with others, God and themselves. There were 23 people involved in the trip: six student leaders, 15 students, Father Michael Bielecki and Laura Gorgol, the campus minister.

The “Search” retreat trip was sponsored by campus ministry and is tied with Cabrini’s Catholic tradition. Gorgol said, “The retreat is designed to give students some time away from campus with other students in an atmosphere of community, reflection and relaxation.”

On March 17, the group headed up to Whitehaven, Pa., which is in the Poconos. Their destination was “The Country Place,” but they were given no specifics about the trip. Part of the trip is to keep the specific activities private to enhance the experience. The group returned to Cabrini March 19 in the afternoon. What happened in between is for the group to know, but the participants admit to a very spiritual experience.

Sam Randol, a freshman psychology and religious studies major, saw a flyer about the trip and knew about it because her boyfriend had already signed up. She didn’t know what was going to happen, but she signed up anyway. She said that she got no sleep because the group was up late talking during the weekend. She said, “It was difficult, because it is self-reflection.” She also said that the trip “is what you make of it.”

Gorgol said, “Search was a great success in that the students took time away from their busy lives, had time to relax, reflect and enjoy each other’s company.” She said that the retreat had a community feel, and the group was able to have fun and build that community together.

Father Michael explained that the retreat is about looking at relationships with God, self and others to discern how to better those relationships and therefore, a better quality of life.

Father Michael also pointed out that the retreat is for people of all faith traditions. He said, “Personal transformation comes about only when we spend time with ‘ultimate reality,’ which is labeled God, Yahweh or Allah, depending upon your faith tradition.” He was energized by the talks and interactions and said he “realized how blessed we are here at Cabrini to have so many great young people among us.”

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Posted to the web by Shane Evans

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Gail Katherine Ziegler

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