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About Me:

My name is Olivia and I am a senior at Butler University. I spend most of my time in Lilly Hall as a BFA Dance Performance major. When not in rehearsal or ballet class, I write papers for my English Literature second major. In my super-abundant, never-lacking, this-is-highly-sarcastic spare time, I attempt to cook in my apartment kitchen, watch Youtube videos of ballet, knit sweaters that never seem to come to an end, and read books both silly and serious. If I could take any class at Butler just for kicks, I'd go for DiffyQ.

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Posts Tagged “religion”

Busy Person’s Retreat

Last week, I participated in the BCC’s second annual Busy Person’s Retreat. The BCC offers a variety of programs, including evening retreats, loads of different faith-sharing groups, and this Busy Person’s Retreat. (You can see some of the options here.) This retreat ran from Monday-Thursday last week, with a quick orientation and lunch on Sunday after our weekly Mass.

The Busy Person’s Retreat is particularly interesting because it was designed specifically for college students. Each student is paired with a spiritual director — this will be an adult to whom you can talk. I worked with a woman who is part of the archdiocese offices. Here’s what the retreat entailed:

  • Orientation and lunch on Sunday
  • Commit to praying for 30 min each day of the retreat on your own, using set readings and reflection questions as a guide
  • Meet with your spiritual director for 30 min each day after having completed the prayer
  • Attend optional prayer services at 5 pm Monday-Wednesday and Mass followed by supper at 5:30 pm Thursday.

The retreat is designed, obviously enough, for the busy person. This is why the time commitment is broken into small, half-hour chunks. I enjoyed both the prayer time and the conversations with the woman helping me during the retreat. The prayer showed me I had more time for reflection in the middle of the day than I thought I did; the conversation was wonderful because I usually don’t talk about my spirituality in a relaxed setting with only one other person.

I also really enjoyed the retreat because of Butler’s beautiful weather. I spent all but one of my reflection times outside on a bench or in the rock garden behind Butler’s carillon bell tower. Butler is absolutely beautiful in the fall. You don’t have to participate in a spiritual activity to gain a sense of calm — just sit outside to do your homework.


I’m sharing all this to demonstrate all the unique opportunities Butler students have. This retreat was open to all — and how often do you get to have casual dinners and lunches with the wife of the president of the university? You know Butler is a small school when you can talk about religion while sharing the president’s wife’s strawberry rhubarb cobbler. I have not talked much with either Mr. or Mrs. Danko, but they both seem extremely nice, and I really like Mrs. Danko.

I also want to point out that I had more time than I thought I would for college spirituality both when I entered as a freshman and now. If you are interested in exploring spirituality, the Blue House offers a wide variety of options.

College Spirituality: The Blue House

I’m part of the Butler Catholic Community, which is one of the many spirituality groups on campus. I don’t know too, too much about the others, but there really should be something for everybody. The Blue House is a house (painted blue) on campus, properly known as the Center for Faith and Vocation. Here you can find many faith groups if you are interested. The Blue House will actually have an ice cream social from 9 to 11 pm on Monday, August 22. Stop by for a tasty treat!

Many students find themselves thinking more deeply about vocation during college. The Blue House’s statement on vocation speaks better than I can — vocational questions are not all about religion. I think their ideas about vocation relate just as well to choosing a major or picking up a hobby as finding a faith group.

With that in mind, I would encourage new students to stop by the spirituality-related tables during Block Party on Tuesday, August 23 from 5 – 7 pm, where the Blue House will have a table. Whether you want to discuss different views of God, meditate, join a faith-based organization, ask questions about spirituality, or even just have a quiet place to study, the Blue House can help. I find it’s an excellent place to write papers — it’s quiet, there’s a microwave to heat up my lunch, and the wonderful staff talk in soothing voices. :)

The summary of this post? The Blue House is a great resource for college students of any spiritual persuasion, especially those who are uncertain or questioning.

Some services the Blue House offers:

  • Meditation
  • Movie Night
  • Big Questions (a moderated lunch discussion on topics like Secular Humanism and Interfaith Action:  Is There Room for the ‘Non-Believer’?)
  • Confidential advising services — i.e. chatting about what you want to do with your life

Q&A: Butler Catholic Community

Once again, a senior in high school emailed me with a list of excellent questions. This time, the focus was on the Butler Catholic Community. As I told her, I am so glad she asked because I’ve been meaning to write about the BCC. Here is part of the letter I wrote her:

First, here’s a bit of my own religious background. I was raised in the Catholic Church, but I’ve always gone to public school. I have nothing against Catholic schools and think they can be quite valuable, but I am very glad I went to public school. It was the right place for me, and I got used to being exposed to a bunch of different and sometimes contradictory ideas. Coming to Butler from my East Coast public school system actually felt like a smaller world demographically and (a bit) ideologically. So we have somewhat different situations.

That said, I understand your concerns. Nevertheless, I believe faith grows through questioning; what has survived testing is always stronger. College is where many people (free for the first time from parental influence and from the same friends and places they’ve always known) can find out whom they really want to be. If you are committed to your faith, I think you will find like-minded people wherever you go in your life. I know I have.

How do you join the Catholic Community?

The BCC is not like a club. Just show up at Mass, volunteer to help during the services, attend retreats and community service projects. You can be as involved as you want to be. We have a table at Block Party (a big event before classes start where every organization has a table on the quad; people can check out and sign up for all sorts of things.). You can sign up on our listserve to get emails about BCC events, and you can also sign up to receive a short prayer every morning. I am part of the leadership team, and we meet regularly to discuss programming and such. This year there is also a newly formed service committee that plans service projects.

Father Jeff

What kinds of activities does the BCC sponsor?

Well, we have Mass every Sunday on campus. I am currently in charge of finding people to help during Mass, so you have the opportunity to be a communion minister, lector, or alter server. A student offers a short witness on the readings before Mass every week. There is also a midweek Mass most weeks.

We always have a freshmen retreat in September (it’s actually the upcoming Friday, and I’m so excited. It’s one of my favorite events). We’ve had sophomore walking retreats in the mornings, a men’s/women’s retreat, and some other activities at night. There are faith-sharing groups and even a group that meets once a week to discuss spirituality for college students, using the lives of the saints as an outline. A group of students even went to Honduras during the summer!

The priest, Father Jeff, offers Reconciliation. We have food pantry dates, assorted one-time service projects, tutoring local students, adoration, and prayer services. There’s usually a Mardi Gras dinner, and there are services on campus during days like Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. Once we even baptized a baby!

Outside the Blue House

So you can see that there are lots of options. There’s lots of information on the BCC website.

If you are not Catholic or are interested in the interfaith opportunities, stop by the Blue House. There are loads of spirituality-type organizations available.

When and where is Mass held?

The time sometimes varies, but Sunday Mass is at 1 pm in the large reception room (the Johnson Room) in a building on campus called Robertson Hall. Midweek Mass is at 5 pm this semester in the little room in the Center for Faith and Vocation on campus. (The Center is painted a light shade of blue, so everyone calls it the Blue House.) That Mass lasts only about twenty minutes or so.

freshmen retreat

Are there any retreats?

I already mentioned this in the “activities” question. Usually retreats run from about six pm to midnight on a Friday night. Sometimes we go off campus: We’ve gone to the nearby St. Thomas, and I went to a convent last year with the women’s retreat. I highly recommend the freshmen retreat. I went as a new student and helped last year; I plan to help out again this year.

service in Honduras

Remember, if you have any questions you would like me to answer, just leave a comment and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible! (My turnover time seems to be about a week.)