Society of Mary USA, Marist Ministries Society of Mary, Marists in the USA, Roman Catholic Priests, Brothers, and Laity

Retreat Amidst Ordinary Academic Life
By Kevin Duggan SM

Retreat at Newman Center for Marists and students
Left to right: John, Kevin, Christina, Judy

Sixteen students along with four directors (Marists John Ulrich, Kevin Duggan and Sisters Judy SMSM and Christina SMSM) gathered at Cal Poly’s Newman Center on Sunday January 29 to begin the 'Busy Students Retreat.'

This is a retreat amidst the daily activities of life. These sixteen students committed to spending 30 minutes with assigned Scripture passages four times during the week. They would then schedule a 30-minute period of time with one of the directors, so that together each could share the fruit of their reflection. Students were also encouraged to find other ways to mark the week as different (e.g., walking to class without the ever-present earbuds, coming to daily Mass, praying a rosary, talking a walk and noticing the beauty of the campus located in southern California).

The opening session on Sunday gave some direction about how to pray with the Scriptures and a daily guide for each passage was given to students. The closing session was a Mass on Friday evening. Each of the students and directors shared briefly what the retreat has meant to him or her or some insight they gained from the Scriptures. Of course, we also shared a meal – college students always expect to be fed.

Retreat at Newman Center for Marists and students
Retreat participants and directors

This yearly retreat is a great opportunity to share more deeply
with young adults who have a desire to deepen their faith. 

Obviously, our faith as directors was deepened as well.

The extra bonus for John and me was being able to share prayer, meals, drinks and laughter with Srs. Judy and Christina of the Marist Missionary Sisters.  Both Chris and Judy are working with Mary's Guest House in San Diego where they support women on the journey of healing who have been caught up in human trafficking.