Time for Reflection at Freshman Retreat

Author: Erin Turley

Freshman Retreat"
Courtesy of Campus Ministry

The  adjustment to college can be difficult for many freshmen. Campus Ministry offers a variety of resources to assist students seeking a means for spiritual reflection and growth during this transitional period.

Campus Ministry hosted a 24-hour Freshman Retreat on Oct. 31 as an opportunity for freshmen to reflect on their lives so far at Notre Dame.

Over 100 freshmen attended the retreat, which was held at The Sacred Heart Parish Center.  The retreat, called “Stepping Back, Focusing In,” was centered on the five pillars of Holy Cross spirituality: mind, heart, zeal, family and hope.  

Senior Grace Carroll, the retreat coordinator, led the retreat with the help of 18 sophomores and four juniors.

During the retreat, the freshmen were divided into small “family” groups, with whom they spent most of their time.  Groups ate meals together and conferred during small group discussions about various topics relating to the pillars of Holy Cross spirituality.

An emphasis was placed on time for personal reflection.  Students were given the opportunity to go to confession, sit in on Adoration or spend time reflecting in front of an altar that had been constructed for the Day of the Dead.

Sophomore Rachel Thome was a small group leader for the retreat. She says that the team of Campus Ministry leaders had prepared for the retreat since April.  

“I really enjoyed the process of planning the retreat and watching myself grow in my own faith through the community and fellowship I experienced with the other leaders,” Thome says.

Freshman Emmy Schoenbauer expressed her motivation behind attending the retreat.  

“I figured that at this point in the year I would be stressed about college and that this would be a nice break from the norm and would offer me some time for reflection.  Overall, this was an extremely beneficial experience,” Schoenbauer says.