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The Student News Site of Gannon University since 1947


The Student News Site of Gannon University since 1947


Finding God: First Year Retreat

Courtesy of Campus Ministry.

Over the last weekend of September, twenty first-year Gannon students attended First Year Retreat at Camp Notre Dame in nearby Fairview, PA.  

They were accompanied by seven upperclassmen student leaders and Emily Muntean, Gannon University’s Assistant Director of Campus Ministry, who facilitated the retreat experience. Muntean has attended nine First Year Retreats since she first arrived at Gannon in August of 2015. 

She summarized the weekend as “a great opportunity for students to relax, reflect, and connect with peers and Campus Ministry leaders within the first half of their first semester at college.” The retreatants travelled via a school bus on a Friday evening and spent the ensuing forty hours at Camp Notre Dame.  

The retreat featured various talks given by student leaders, prompts for discussion and reflection, and ample opportunities for recreation and bonding; including nightly bonfires, singing praise and worship songs together in both English and Spanish, and a trip to Lake Erie.  

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Freshman Political Science major Anthony Frisina spent the weekend at First Year Retreat because some student leaders and other retreatants encouraged him to attend. “I enjoyed getting off campus with other students and meeting new people,” he said.  

Frisina appreciated his time attending First Year Retreat because it introduced him to new people, friendships, and ways to get involved on Gannon’s campus.  

Mallory Grucza, a freshman member of the 3+3 Pre-Law program, attended First Year Retreat because she was already involved with Campus Ministry and attends some of their programming, events, and activities.  

In reflecting on her experience at First Year Retreat, Grucza remarked that she has “been very busy getting the hang of college life, so [she] was looking for an opportunity to relax and disconnect from [the] busy world for a little bit.”  

Moreover, Grucza “was able to make new friends and reflect on [her] time at Gannon so far” while spending the weekend at Camp Notre Dame. Thomas Caulfield, a sophomore majoring in legal studies, served as a student leader for First Year Retreat after attending it as a freshman last year.  

“When I had such a good experience [last year], I decided that I would try to be a helper in creating a good experience for the next class of students,” he recalled. 

As Caulfield further reflected, “Both times I was looking for people that I would be able to spend time with and enjoy myself [with] and [who] were interested in working to become better people. Both years I was able to find them on the retreat and continue to enjoy their company after the weekend ended.”  

First Year Retreat will be offered again at the beginning of the 2024-2025 school year, and it will most likely occur sometime during the month of September.  

Campus Ministry also offers a few other unique retreat experiences throughout each school year, including a Busy Person’s Retreat during Lent, Senior Retreat in April, and a weekend-long Metanoia retreat, which will take place from January 26-28, 2024. For more information about these retreat experiences and other Campus Ministry offerings, please contact [email protected] or visit  

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