Students participate in personalized retreat for busy people


Brooke Williams , Community Editor

A common sentiment heard by Sr. Mindy Welding, IHM, director of vocations for Sisters of IHM, and Fr. Don Williams, vocation director of the Diocese of Scranton, regarding retreats is “I’m too busy.”

Last week, Campus Ministry held a retreat specifically for these busy members of the Marywood community. From Jan. 29 to Feb. 1, about 15 people participated in “A Retreat for Busy People on Campus.”

Welding and Williams, two of the retreat’s five directors, brought it to several other college campuses in the past. It used to be an annual event at Marywood and returned this semester after a years-long hiatus.

According to Welding, most retreats usually take place away from home for either a full week or weekend, and many people cannot make the time commitment. “The Retreat for Busy People” was held on campus and fit the individual schedule of each participant for the sake of convenience.

“It’s made for the student, for their time,” Welding said.

The main purpose of the retreat was to find God in ordinary, everyday life.

“The truth of the matter is we’re all busy, but we all have time for the things that we really want to do,” said Williams. “I think this retreat was designed in such a way to invite young people, the faculty or staff to just slow down and to make room for God in the midst of [their] busy [lives].”

To do this, participants met one-on-one with an assigned “spiritual mentor” during the retreat to discuss their relationship with God and how they can improve it.
“My hope would be that those who have made the time and the sacrifice come to find out ‘I’m really not that busy,’ and grow in their God-consciousness to really … get excited about the fact that life is only going to be as busy as [they] allow it to be,” Williams said.

“The Retreat for Busy People” had various themes to choose from, like “praying in times of stress” and “inviting God into decision making.” Participants were also able to discuss original themes.

Senior Speech Pathology major Jenny Weisberger focused on how to deal with change during the retreat.

“One of the main things we talked about was [how] my grandmother passed away a couple months ago,” Weisberger said. “It was kind of just focusing on dealing with change and how to incorporate change into your daily life.”

She wanted to do a retreat through Marywood for awhile, but never felt like she could take the time out of her schedule. She participated in the “Retreat for Busy People” to get the experience she missed out on, but in a time frame that fit her busy schedule.

At the end of the retreat, Weisberger believed she gained some personal time for herself, which she said is hard to come for college students.

“It was a way to step back and talk about how to take that time for yourself and how you can incorporate little things into your day that can just make it better and make it feel not so busy,” she said.

Welding believed the turnout of the retreat was “really good” after its hiatus. Her main desires for the retreat were that participants knew of God’s immense love for them, and that they can either build on their relationship with God or come back to it regardless of its current stage.

She also wanted participants to know the importance of finding solitude in “our crazy, noisy world.”

“We ask them to take some time to unplug, to turn off the phone… just to start the conversation about getting some quiet time and silence in your life to really listen to what God has to say, which is really what’s going on on the inside,” she said. “That’s where God is. God is residing in us.”

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Twitter: @BWilliamsTWW