The following is an excerpt from X-Press, the weekly Campus Ministry newsletter.
“If you allow yourself to be formed by God through the common, ordinary, unspectacular flow of everyday life, you will gradually experience a liberation and a freedom never before imagined.” This familiar quote from the Fundamental Principles of the Xaverian Brothers describes what happens at each and every Sophomore Faith Experience. Students take time away from their busy lives to do some very ordinary things: throw around a football, listen to some reflections by senior leaders, share in small groups, eat (a lot), take a trust walk, do a guided meditation, and take some much needed time to relax and think. The Sophomore Faith Experience focuses on what is most important in life, namely, our relationship with God, with ourselves, and with others. In some ways, this is unspectacular in that our relationships are so much a part of every moment of our lives. However, taking the time to look deeply at our relationships can have some profound effects.
Following Sophomore Faith, each student meets one-on-one with his assigned Campus Minister. So often, it is evident that the time set apart for retreat has produced tremendous fruit in the lives of the sophomores. It is common to hear things like, “I never thought too much about my relationship with God before, but now it is something I really care about.” Or, “I realize that I have to work on the relationships within my family. I’m going to try harder at that.” Some even recognize for the first time that their relationship with themselves is their responsibility and that they can and must focus on what is most important to who they are as individuals.
The twenty-four hours spent at Sacred Hearts Retreat Center usually fly by, but our hope is that the sense of “liberation and freedom” experienced on retreat, which comes from reflecting on what really matters in life, spills over into the lives of our sophomores. Please keep them in your prayers each time a group goes away!