Retreat offers weekend break for students

By Nick LaRosa
February 2, 2011

Members of the 2009 SEARCH retreat participate in one of the various activities. This is the 14th year for the annual retreat.

Students looking to further their relationship with God, themselves and others will travel to the Poconos for a SEARCH Retreat this weekend, Feb. 11-13.  The retreat is offered to all undergraduate students by Campus Ministry.

According to Christa Grzeskowiak, campus minister, the retreat has been offered by Cabrini College for 14 years.

“This is a retreat that is done on other campuses as well,” Grzeskowiak said.  “While there are scheduled events, the experience each student has is unique.”

Eight Cabrini students who have previously attended the three-day retreat will be in charge of leading others in games, activities and reflection.  All of the games and activities will help the students in attendance get to know one another better.

“All retreats need ice breakers and topic-appropriate activities, but some of the games and programs we lead are really cool and new,” Cathy Matta, sophomore math major and one of the retreat leaders, said.

SEARCH encourages students to take a break from their heavy workloads and form new friendships and bonds with fellow students.

While many of the planned activities are exclusive to those involved with SEARCH, students attending can expect to reflect upon topics discussed by the leaders and interact with one another through small-group conversations.

Tim Rooney, junior English major, attended the retreat last year and credited SEARCH with being “a big leap forward in my college experience as far as getting to know other people.”  Now Rooney is a leader for the upcoming retreat and has the opportunity to mentor other students.

“I’m really excited to be leading it this year so that hopefully I can help someone else have as amazing a time as I did,” Rooney said.

In addition to developing new friendships and acquaintances, SEARCH enables students to escape from the stress of the semester, according to Arielle Friscia, senior communication major.  Friscia attended the retreat as sophomore and will be one of the eight student leaders.

“My hope for the people going on the retreat is for them to know they can break out of their shell and to make the most of what we have to offer during the retreat,” Friscia said.  “There are people that I went on the retreat with who I work a lot with today. I just loved meeting everyone and getting off campus for a few days to relax.”

Whether going with friends and classmates or to meet new people, there is something significant that everyone can get out of the three-day retreat.

“I really hope everyone who goes on the retreat can bring back a sense of confidence in who they are,” Matta said.

“If they take nothing else away from the retreat, I hope they realize that as a community, here at school and as people in general, that they’re never going through things alone,” Rooney said.

Grzeskowiak stressed the importance of developing stronger relationships over the course of the weekend and discussed how unique and powerful SEARCH can be.

“It is a gift that gives you exactly what you were looking for in the moment,” Grzeskowiak said of the retreat.  “Everyone can get something out of it.”

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Nick LaRosa

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