Finding God: Attending Metanoia as a leader


Metanoia 16 is a faith-centered retreat run through Campus Ministry. The retreat will take place starting Feb. 19 this year. Junior Brynn Wasielewski shares her experience on the retreat and gives her insights on being a leader as opposed to an attendee.

Brynn Wasielewski

In just a couple weeks, 15 retreatants, seven student leaders and two staff accompaniers will make their way to Villa Maria Retreat Center for the Metanoia 16 retreat.
The Metanoia retreat is a biannual retreat that Campus Ministry offers to all Gannon University students. The retreat offers students an opportunity to share in meaningful conversations, engage in a supportive community and experience God’s love firsthand. Throughout the weekend, the retreatants have the opportunity to listen to students’ faith testimonies and reflect on them within small groups.
Two years ago, I had the opportunity to attend the retreat. Deciding to go on the retreat was single-handedly one of the best decisions I have ever made in my time at Gannon. I went on the retreat as a freshman and was coming from a pretty rough time in my life. I was lost in my faith and did not know what a faith-filled community felt like.
However, after attending the retreat, I finally found my faith and knew what God was calling me to do in life. I found a community of like-minded individuals that showed me God’s pure unconditional love in a way I never experienced prior to Metanoia.
The conversations I had throughout the course of the weekend opened my eyes to many people and their faith testimonies. Metanoia also allowed me to share my story in a supportive environment free of judgment. I gained so much more than I could have imagined in just three short days on my Metanoia retreat.
Fast forward two years and I have the amazing opportunity to attend the Metanoia 16 retreat, this time as a leader. Five of my classmates and I have been busy preparing since the fall semester and could not be more excited for the retreat in just a few short weeks.
Being on the flip side of the retreat was a huge eye-opener and presented a huge learning curve for me as well. One of the biggest learning curves for me was realizing this is not my retreat but rather the retreatants’. This part of servant leadership and learning was formative to our team. Realizing this made me step back and remember that I already had my Metanoia experience, and it is now time for me to share that with others.
Metanoia means a change in one’s heart, and I truly believe that your heart can be changed throughout the course of the weekend. It is definitely something that I would recommend crossing off your Gannon bucket list.

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