Campus Ministry holds first-year retreat

Lily Baldi, Staff Writer

This weekend, first-year Knights attended a retreat sponsored by Campus Ministry. 

Sixteen first-year students and five upperclassman leaders attended.  

Joe McHenry, a criminal justice major, said it was a welcoming experience. He said everyone there had the same goal of trying to meet others.

McHenry also said it gave him the opportunity to meet with Campus Ministry.  

Bailey Wheeler, a public service and global affairs major, also said the retreat built community. 

Wheeler also said small groups allowed them to open up with others. She enjoyed the mix of activities offered and said the retreat had the same feeling as a traditional summer camp. She said the cabins allowed them to make closer friends and bond. 

McHenry said stepping out of their comfort zones in a safe place allowed them to grow. He said it was important to be open to meeting new people, and to not be afraid to talk to new people because everyone on the retreat was inclusive. 

Emily Muntean, assistant director of Campus Ministry, said a highlight for her was Saturday evening, when Campus Ministry invited Statia Brown, a campus minister, her family and the Rev. Fr. Shane Matthew to join them for dinner. 

“After dinner, I really enjoyed watching Statia’s family engage with our students by playing games and everyone seeing who could do the best cartwheel,” Muntean said. “To have the opportunity for colleagues and their families to have some down time with students outside of the university is a great way of connecting with one another beyond our roles on campus and building community on a more personal level.” 

Muntean also said the retreat was executed well this year.  

“It seemed to me everyone was grateful for some time away from campus to give themselves a break, meet new people, and enjoy nature,” Muntean said. “Students walked away knowing more people than they did before and some formed new friendships. Hopefully, they left knowing that there are leaders and campus ministers who are here to support them throughout their college journeys. We heard many comments from students wishing the retreat was longer and expressing interest in leading future retreats.” 

Muntean said she hopes students felt included and welcomed by Campus Ministry. 

“It is truly our desire that any student who chooses can find a home in Campus Ministry,” Muntean said. “We want First-Year Retreat to be an authentic reflection of who we are and let students know they belong here.”


[email protected]