By Miles Macdonald
mmacdonald@my.madonna.edu

Throughout the school year, Campus Ministry plans retreats for students to attend on and off campus and although the length of the retreat may vary, the objective remains the same; to get away from technology, school and homework and find your faith again.

Campus Ministry hosted the Marian Lenten Retreat on March 16. The goal of this retreat was to get closer to Mary as a group and individually. Occasionally, Campus Ministry invites a facilitator to come to the retreat to present anecdotes to the group and let the group know how they have found faith in their life.

For this retreat, Campus Ministry invited Father Thomas Florek from Wisconsin to the Marian Lenten Retreat. Fr. Thomas has dedicated himself to the education of others and his own education. Currently committed to the University of Detroit Mercy, Fr. Thomas is dedicated in aiding those in the Hispanic/ Latino community. Additionally, Fr. Thomas has founded and directs the Midwest Hispanic Leadership Institute.

The retreat held in the East Dining Hall started at 8:45 a.m. and opened up with an introduction to the retreat and registration of students. After everyone was settled, the group opened in Morning Prayer, followed by ice breakers.

The group then filed into the university chapel for the first presentation of the day led by Fr. Thomas.

After the presentation, the group went into UC 1 for Stations of the Cross, where everyone prayed, together, a prayer, traditionally told in story form around Lent and Easter.

After the students came back from break after the Stations of the Cross, the group was led into the chapel again for a second presentation by Fr. Thomas, followed by lunch provided by the Madonna cooking staff.

Back in UC 1, the group sang along in praise and worship songs and stayed in UC 1 for the third and final presentation of the day.

After the final presentation, the group was split into smaller groups to discuss the day’s activities and realizations they had discovered about themselves.

The group then filed back into the chapel for confessions, the praying of the rosary, and Eucharistic adoration. After adoration, the retreat ended with mass.

Students who attended the retreat gave their reasons for attend the retreat and what they took from it.

“I went to the retreat to help myself in re-finding faith in my life, “said Holly Laginess, a freshman student who is undecided. “I took from this retreat that there are other people in the world, in college, feeling just as much stress as I do and that I need to find ways to un-stress my life.”

“I learned from this retreat that I need to unburden myself, and learn to relax a little bit, while also renewing my faith,” said Andrew Palmer, a junior at Madonna, majoring in Biology.

For more information, you can email the advisor for Campus Ministry, Patrick Waters, at pwaters@madonna.edu or visit the Campus Ministry room in room 1408.

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