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The Student News Site of Gannon University since 1947


The Student News Site of Gannon University since 1947


Finding God: Smoothing the Soul


October 27, 2023/12a.m.  

In addition to Catholic Mass and the many other worship and prayer opportunities that Gannon University’s Campus Ministry provides, they also offer weekly groups that meet to discuss different aspects of Faith, college life, and discipleship.  

Most fall into the category of Christian Life Groups (CLGs), during which men and women gather separately to discuss Scripture, prayer, and other aspects of Christian discipleship. A third CLG, centered around Christian Discipleship, is co-ed and meets on a weekly basis.  

Like CLGs, which are available to every student on Gannon’s campus, Campus Ministry also offers a few residential ministries including the interactive and edible Smoothing the Soul. The group meets on Tuesday evenings at 8:00 in room 202 of North Hall.  

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Each meeting begins with attendant introductions, and everyone answering a different question each week, followed by fifteen minutes of guided meditations, and then enjoying homemade smoothies together. The homemade smoothies vary in flavor each week, and some of the popular and recent ones include strawberry banana, mixed berry, and tropical fruit.  

Sophomore Angelise Zakis, a Computer Science major with a minor in Innovation and Creativity, serves as one of the student leaders for Smoothing the Soul. Her “experience leading this group has given [her] time and resources to reflect on [her] own faith more often than [she] had in high school.”  

Zakis also remarked that “a lot of people would enjoy Smoothing the Soul, even those who are skeptical, because it truly is such a refreshing and casual atmosphere.”  

Some of her “best laughs and deepest thoughts came into existence through Smoothing the Soul conversations.” Students of all denominations, religions, and faith backgrounds are welcomed at Smoothing the Soul. “I like that with Smoothing the Soul, it is not overly religious, so anyone can participate in it regardless of their religious beliefs and backgrounds,” said Junior Biology/Secondary Education major Mitchell Marsh.  

For Marsh, “Smoothing the Soul with meditation is about the community aspect of the group and… togetherness always makes me feel connected with the people around me.” At Smoothing the Soul, any student is welcome to join any week, and there is no pressure to commit or continue meeting with the group in the future.  

One does not need to be a resident of North Hall to attend or enter the dorm building. There are always enough smoothies and fellowship to go around, and participants can leave as soon or leisurely as they desire following each week’s meditation. Some meditations feature nature sounds, some are guided meditations with words, and sometimes participants simply reflect and mediate in silence.  

Senior Occupational Theory major Bre Zippay, who is minoring in Biology and Psychology, has been attending Smoothing the Soul regularly since her freshman year at Gannon in 2019.  

Zippay appreciates how “Smoothing the Soul allows [her] to have the time to [enjoy] fellowship and practice mindfulness after being so busy and stressed with [her] academics and day to day life.” According to Zippay, Smoothing the Soul and other Campus Ministry events are “what fuel my week and refresh me.” 

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