Retreat widens student appeal
Published: Friday, March 8, 2013
Updated: Friday, March 8, 2013 13:03
The increased demand to attend the Spring Awakening retreat promises that there will not be a spot for everyone, but students within Mission and Ministry are taking time to carefully prepare.
On March 8-10, the Loyola Spring Awakening retreat will take over 100 students to Camp Whispering Pines for a weekend of speakers, events and spiritual reflection.
“Our message is that we are a community that seeks to show the love of God through the community,” Joseph Albin, resident chaplain and Mission and Ministry fellow for retreats, said.
While the secrets of this semester’s retreat are to be revealed at the event, the awakening rectors have dedicated their efforts to making the events as open to the entire Loyola community as possible.
“Joseph Albin and I have done our best to bring in people who get left out,” Mar Trujillo, music senior and Spring Awakening rector, said. “There are the people with incredible insights and stories and who are full of love, but they just aren’t as outgoing as the people you see everywhere.”
The Awakening retreat will focus on bringing faith, charity and love to the student community. Awakening has been available to students for over 20 years. In its continuation, graduating rectors foresee the retreat’s success and expansion.
“Over the years I’ve seen it expand to where I think there were 20 or 30 of us, but now there are 60 and 70, to the point where we do have to turn some people away,” Trujillo said about the number of new retreaters.
Albin has been a part of the retreat’s success by helping the retreat realize its mission and navigating the chosen speakers to a successful message.
“I like to allow the students to lead, but it’s important to guide them in leadership positions they may not have had before,” Albin said.
Many on-campus students who run the events have trouble with gaining an audience and struggle with advertising, but Awakening has seen an increase of attendees over the last four years. Participants say that the best advertising technique they found is simply word of mouth.
The Spring Awakening rectors will both graduate this May. Trujillo said she hopes aspects of the Awakening retreat will have a stronger presence in the Loyola community.
“I’d like to see more support in the community, so just bringing the aspects of the retreat into every day life, such as acceptance, love and open communication,” Trujillo said.
Many of the planned events on the retreat will be a surprise for all attendees.
“Not even staff knows who the speakers are,” Trujillo said.
“We are constantly reforming to make sure we are more thoughtful about whatever it is we are doing and why,” Albin said.
Jessica DeBold can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org