Campus Ministries hosted students at Chapman Lake for the first ever Manresa retreat Friday through Sunday. The retreat’s title is linked to the story of St. Ignatius and is centered on Ignatian values. Students sought ways to find God in each other and themselves, and they were encouraged to live that way. Those who attended ranged from first-year students to seniors. The lake house was near full capacity as many students signed up late, turning a two-night retreat that had a low number of participants for a while into an exciting, large-scale retreat that many were happy to go on.
For everyone involved with the retreat, there was slight uncertainty as to how things would pan out.
“It was the first retreat so a lot of us, including myself, went in like blind,” junior Mike Morris said.
Morris said he was thrilled about his experience after coming back Sunday.
“Everyone was really pleasantly surprised. It turned out to be a fantastic weekend that meant a lot to a lot of people,” Morris said.
Manresa featured small groups and prayer groups led by 11 group leaders. This is unusual compared to some other retreats. University retreats tend to incorporate only small groups, and it is not often that one finds 11 group leaders on one retreat. This made no difference because students were still just as excited Sunday as they were Friday.
Sophomore Marissa Kravatz enjoyed her time at Chapman Lake for the Manresa retreat.
“Everyone was super excited to be there and super pumped, and I felt accepted and loved right away,” Kravatz said.
Preparations for this retreat, which started in April, could not have worked out better. Following a national conference for campus ministers last year where University representatives learned about Manresa, campus minister and retreat organizer Kelly Miguens, along with a couple of student leaders, finally executed what they had prepared for 10 months. Miguens complimented all the leaders, saying that “the team worked really hard.”
Students who may be interested in the retreat have to wait until next year. Miguens is already excited for what the next year will bring for students who go on the Manresa retreat.
“We’re going to start planning [for next year], and we invite anybody who is interested in going deeper into their relationship with God and wants to understand some of the Ignatian values that we talk about on campus and figure out how they integrate into their own lived experience,” Migunes said.
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