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SMC to host Busy Person’s Retreat

Anna Boarini | Thursday, September 22, 2011

In an attempt to relieve students of the demands of tests and papers, Saint Mary’s Campus Ministry will host the Busy Person’s Retreat next week.

“[It] allows students to carve out a little portion of a day during the course of the retreat week for quiet reflection and prayer,” Regina Wilson, assistant director of Campus Ministry, said.

Saint Mary’s has offered the Busy Person’s Retreat for eight years, and it is offered three times a year — once during September, Advent and Lent.

Instead of a weekend experience, this retreat takes place in small amounts of time over a few days.

“The retreat begins with a gathering for prayer and direction about the retreat on Sunday evening,” Wilson said. “Then each day, Monday through Thursday during the week of the retreat, students spend 30 minutes in prayer and then spend up to 30 minutes in conversation with the spiritual guide.”

When students meet with their spiritual guide, Wilson said they are encouraged to discuss what came up during their individual prayer time for the day.

Each day during the retreat, there is a different theme and Wilson said each theme comes with a Scripture passage, suggestions, reflection questions and a short prayer.

Students who participate in the retreat will also be introduced to the use of the Lectio Devina, a daily devotion that includes prayer and Scripture reading.

“We have found that most students have never had an opportunity to really pray with Scripture and for those who have been introduced to Lectio, they often have not really had a chance to use it on their own in any deep way,” Wilson said.

She said using the Lectio Devina allows students to develop their confidence in using Scripture for prayer.

The retreat ends Thursday evening, when the whole group comes together for Taize prayer, a form of evening prayer.

While this retreat is not held during the weekend like many others, it still requires a time commitment of daily prayer and meeting with a spiritual guide.

“Every student we’ve had who has participated finds the experience to be refreshing and eye-opening, but many students don’t think they actually have the time to commit to the week of the retreat,” Wilson said. “We’ve had a few students who have done every Busy Person’s Retreat every year they’ve been here at Saint Mary’s because they’ve found it to be such a life-giving experience.”