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Finding God on Gannon’s campus: Campus Ministry retreat provides plenty of heartfelt experiences

Jan 30 • Finding God on Gannon's Campus, Top Stories • 177

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Metanoia is one of the many amazing weekend retreats put on by Gannon University’s Campus Ministry department.
It takes place twice a year, once in the fall semester and once in the spring.
This spring’s Metanoia, Metanoia 12, took place this past weekend, actually, and I was fortunate enough to experience it.
I first made Metanoia in the fall of 2017 and it changed my life.
This year, I had the beautiful opportunity to experience it as a leader.
Thirty students made this retreat for the first time, accompanied by six students leaders, including myself, and two campus ministers.
The group travelled down to Villa Maria Retreat Center on Friday evening to spend three days deepening their relationships with God and growing in faith.
Over the course of the weekend, I watched as students laughed together, played together and fostered new relationships.
I also watched as they truly opened up to one another and allowed themselves to be real and honest with themselves and their peers.
It was amazing to see how each and every student was growing over the progression of those three days, and how much they were all impacted by the experience.
Every student’s experience was different, but they were all able to walk away having learned something new about their peers, themselves and their faith.
Through speakers, reflection time, small group discussions and some other special things thrown into the mix, the Metanoia retreat is able to achieve all of that.
This retreat offers students a chance to meet new people, build community, learn from each other and reflect on their faith in so many ways.
It’s a chance for them to step outside of their comfort zone and, in doing so, develop a deeper understanding of themselves and their faith.
They have the opportunity to listen to meaningful presentations given by the student leaders, and discuss their own thoughts and opinions as well.
They are able to gain so much from one another, and in turn, they are able to offer and share so much with the group as well.
The word “metanoia” means “a change of heart” and that’s exactly what this retreat provided me and so many other students who have had the opportunity to make it.
It is a very beautiful and powerful experience, one I will never forget. I am so thankful to have experienced something so meaningful during my time here at Gannon and I encourage every student to put it on their “Gannon bucket list,” so to speak.
Though it is a Catholic retreat, it is open to any and all students who are interested in attending.
I highly encourage any students who are interested at all, or any students who have any questions, to contact Emily Muntean at muntean001@gannon.edu or myself at dennis005@knights.gannon.edu for more information.
The next Metanoia retreat will be taking place in the fall semester of 2019, and trust me, you don’t want to miss it.

GRACE DENNIS
dennis005@knights.gannon.edu

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