Last Saturday evening, from 6 to midnight, the Butler Catholic Community held its annual freshmen retreat. I went to my freshmen retreat and loved it… and have attended every year since to help out! I want to say this was one of the best years yet.
First, we went to the Immaculate Heart of Mary near campus and made dinner together. We always split into groups and do salad, main dish (sloppy joes and macaroni are standard fare), and dessert. We pray, eat, introduce ourselves, talk about the transition to college, and play with playdough.
Halfway through the serving of dinner…
The fire alarm went off. Could it have been the slightly burnt mac and cheese?
So most students finished dinner outside, which was actually a nice change of pace since it was beautiful weather. Thank you, firemen of Marian County!
After dinner, we headed upstairs for conversation about the surprises and challenges of college. This year, I was not with a group of freshmen, but with the left-over leadership team members who didn’t have a freshmen group. I got to talk with the BCC’s new ECHO apprentice from Notre Dame, a graduate student working on her master’s in theology and working with the BCC for the next two years.
Bible charades followed. Here you see us feeding the fattened calf in the Prodigal Son. The best was probably the Feeding of the Multitude — two goldfish turned into a whole carton of goldfish! After the silliness of charades, we had a panel discussion with seniors about the faith journey through college. I got to participate this year, and I really enjoyed the experience.
After that, the ECHO apprentice Kaitlyn talked about “Why are you here?” and everyone wrote letters to God. Quiet prayer and meditation followed, then pizza and some final conversation before everyone headed back to campus. If they were like me, they were sleepy and peaceful. The fifteen or so minutes of silence at the end remains a popular part of the retreat, and it offers the perfect way to transition back into a more thoughtful college life.
All in all, I would say this freshmen retreat was a great success, and I hope entering freshmen who are part of the BCC would consider attending!