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The Student News Site of Gannon University since 1947


The Student News Site of Gannon University since 1947


Finding God on Campus: Metanoia 21

February 16, 2024/Midnight

Students and Campus Ministry at Metanoia 21.

Metanoia is a term derived from the Greek words “meta,” meaning “beyond,” and “nos,” referring to the very inmost core of a person’s being. The ancient Greeks believed that this core of existence resides in the heart of a person.

Simply put, to experience a Metanoia means to have a change of heart and experience profound conversion. Each year, Gannon University students are eligible to experience this conversion and discover the love of God and others at a weekend-long retreat entitled Metanoia.

Since 2011, twenty-one such Metanoia retreats have occurred, with the most recent taking place from January 26-28, 2024. “Metanoia was a great experience, and it was so nice to get off campus and spend the weekend with God,” recalled Freshman Social Work major Alyssa Tulli.

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Tulli is also minoring in Entrepreneurship; Innovation & Creativity; and Spanish, and she “was able to find God through others…by seeing [Him] in their actions and hearing about how God has worked in their lives.”

Several Campus Ministry student leaders, who had previously been on Metanoia retreats, collectively helped to facilitate the retreat and its small group discussions, prayer experiences, and talks about a variety of factors. These talks all featured components of college life and discipleship including identity, service, community, love, and relationships.

Maria Fedor, a Freshman Nursing major, “liked all of the speakers and their stories about all the different topics.” She was also “able to set aside a lot of time for [God] during the retreat, and now back at school [she is] more involved with Campus Ministry.”

To attend a Metanoia retreat, current Gannon students do not already need to be involved with Campus Ministry or its programs, events, and functions.

There is something for everyone, and all are guaranteed for God to meet them where they are. After spending the better part of a weekend together at a location off campus, each Metanoia retreat offers ample opportunities for friendships and relationships with likeminded peers.

For Fedor, “[Metanoia] made me get closer to so many people, and I now love all the people I met.”

Senior Math major and Biology minor Tim Edwards “enjoyed spending time with [his] small group and getting to know some fellow students. It was a great opportunity to have some discussions about a wide variety of topics.”

According to Edwards, “Metanoia was a specific opportunity to reorient towards my faith, but also a moment to grow and learn as part of a larger journey.” He “really enjoyed Ed Voll’s talk about pursuing your vocation and finding meaning in your work.”

Ed Voll, Gannon University’s Assistant Director of Student Employment, attended the Metanoia 21 retreat as a staff accompanier. At each Metanoia retreat, someone from among the staff of Gannon University is present for the entire weekend to provide their own insight and experiences, particularly presenting a talk about purpose and vocations.

From his own position at Gannon, Voll appreciated seeing “that the [Metanoia] retreat is full of career readiness,” especially in “leadership, communication, professionalism and teamwork.”

With any metanoia or conversion, there is an obvious turning away from something, which naturally leads us to turn to something else, which is hopefully more beneficial.

As Voll also pointed out, “a retreat is often looked at as moving away from something. But this movement away actually allows you to come closer to God by doing so.”

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