Campus organizations offer fall retreats to students

The+Finding+God+in+All+Things+retreat+will+take+place+Oct.+29-30

Photo by Sarah Kuhns

The “Finding God in All Things” retreat will take place Oct. 29-30

As midterms finish and fall break approaches, Marquette University campus organizations will host their fall retreats to allow students a chance to relax and unwind.

CAMPus Impact, an organization that “seeks to broaden Marquette students’ perspectives by introducing them to the beauty of Milwaukee,” will host Fall Break Service Immersion Experience Oct. 21-23 at City on a Hill.

City on a Hill is a faith-based nonprofit located on Kilbourn Avenue. They work “to restore hope, reduce poverty, strengthen families and foster social justice.”

“The purpose of our fall retreat is to engage students in the work going on in our area, specifically in the Near West Side neighborhoods,” Emma Hudson-Mairet, a member of MU CAMPus Impact and a senior in the College of Arts & Sciences, said. “Our goal is that through this trip, students are able to form relationships with each other as well as with our partner nonprofits.”

At the retreat, students will volunteer at a variety of nonprofits as well as participate in nightly reflections and discussions surrounding service and justice in Milwaukee.

“We hope that students will gain a better understanding of the awesome things going on in our neighborhood,” Molly Brett, a member of MU CAMPus Impact and a senior in the College of Engineering, said. “We hope that students will want to stay engaged with these groups we work with either through the work CAMPus impact does throughout the year or on their own.”

Another retreat option includes campus ministry’s fourth retreat of the 2021-22 school year, Finding God in All Things. The retreat will take place Oct. 29-30 at Camp Minikani in Hubertus, Wisconsin, located 30 minutes north of Milwaukee.

The retreat will help students explore different ways to find and connect with God.

“All of these retreats seek to provide students with a welcoming, comfortable environment where they can grow in relationship with God, themselves and others,” Sarah Knutson, assistant director of Campus Ministry, said. “They also provide a space where questions and conversation about spirituality and faith are welcomed.”

Students on retreat should expect to discuss questions such as: When is it easy to find God, and what do I do about those situations and places where God seems absent? How do other people find God, and what has their journey been like? What role does religion and spirituality play as I seek God? Does finding God in all things change me in some way?

“Those topics are often seen as private, so it can be hard to find people to talk to and share questions and thoughts,” Knutson said. “At the same time, retreats offer an opportunity to grow in community with new people. Many of the friendships formed on retreats last long after students return to campus, often for the rest of students’ time at Marquette and beyond.”

Students will also be able to experiment with new types of prayer, pray by candlelight, hear others’ stories, play sports, games and music and meet new people.

“Through our theme of companionship, we hope to help people reflect on how they have been companions to others, how others have been companions to them and how we can find companionship in God and in ourselves,” Barbara Sammut, student director of the Finding God in All Things retreat and a senior in the College of Engineering, said.

Other fall retreats include Marquette Action Program’s Eco-Justice and Service Retreat Oct. 20-22 at the Catholic Ecology Center where students will be able to explore the intersection of faith and eco-justice through dialogue, service on site, walks, canoeing and campfires.

The Faber Center will also host a silent Fall Retreat Oct. 29-31 at the Jesuit Retreat House led by Agbonkhianmeghe Orobator, SJ, president of the Jesuit Conference of Africa and Madagascar, with the theme “Creating Space: Reaching out in a time of uncertainty.”

Students can sign up for fall retreats on each organizations’ website. Registration closes when the retreat is full.

This story was written by Bailey Striepling. She can be reached at bailey.striepling@marquette.edu.