Stritch students discover their roots

Thursday, February 28, 2013 5:00:00 PM

More than 25 Stritch staff and students participated in Campus Ministry’s "Rooted Retreat" in February. They spent Super Bowl weekend engaged in prayer, reflection, and discussion at the St. Vincent Pallotti Retreat Center. (Don’t worry; they made it back in time for kickoff.)

Rooted Retreat

Stritch students Nate Friday, Anne Gates, and Monica Kling participated in "Rooted." Although they have each attended retreats in the past, they are quick to point out that every experience is different, and there is always something new to take away from it.

Friday explained that there can be overlap in similar ideas or structure, but retreats usually have a unique theme or objective. This year’s theme was “rooted.”

The symbolism of being rooted in God’s love was woven through many retreat activities.  Participants planted seeds and talked about the importance of taking root in good soil, as well as being nourished by water and sunlight. Only under these conditions can the plant grow and flourish.

“I learned the importance of being rooted in God and nourishing myself with positive things,” said Gates.

She added that many of the small group exercises reinforced the theme because strong friendships are rooted in faith and trust, which the retreat cultivated.

Friday, Gates, and Kling want their fellow students to know that these retreats are a great way to connect with Stritch, and anyone is welcome to participate.

“Campus Ministry retreats are not only for Catholics,” said Friday. “We’ve had several students of other faiths attend retreats. Everyone is welcome, regardless of religion.”

Kling feels that the group's diversity actually made the retreat more impactful.

"Everyone brought their different life experiences and values to the retreat," said Kling. "This particular group was so genuine with each other, and that total honesty is what makes the experience so great."

Some activities offered during the retreat included Mass, quiet time for reflection and journaling, witness talks given by students, and art activities. Friday says that part of the appeal is that participants can make it their own.

"Retreats are a great way to really focus on value," said Friday. "You learn to slow down and value your time and figure out what is really important in life."

To learn more about retreats and other events, contact Jon Metz, director of Campus Ministry, at or (414) 410-4722.