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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 “church”

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.

Freshman Retreat 2011

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!

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.)