Faith and Forgiveness

Junior retreat offers once in a lifetime experience

Members+of+the+2014%2F2015+Junior+class+at+Whispering+Winds
Members of the 2014/2015 Junior class at Whispering Winds

Members of the 2014/2015 Junior class at Whispering Winds

D. Sanchez

D. Sanchez

Members of the 2014/2015 Junior class at Whispering Winds

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Every year, Mater Dei has their annual Junior Retreat at Camp Whispering Winds. In this camp, students are invited to draw themselves closer to God for a day and a half. Throughout this retreat, students go through group discussions, adoration, confession, faith talks, and a mass. The main theme of this retreat was “forgiveness.” Campus Ministers such as Senior Margarita Osuna, gave speeches based on how they faced an encounter with God. These speeches helped students understand the true meaning of life and what their purpose was.

During group discussions, students were chosen at random to go with a group of campus ministers and get to know each other. Students were asked personal questions and even played games. The group discussions were meant to bring people that students usually were not familiar with and get to know them and some of their personal stories. These group discussions surprised many people because they got to listen to others express themselves.

I realized that all of us were more than friends, but a family that I was always part of.”

— Juan Carlos Licerio

Junior Juan Carlos Licerio says that the group discussions changed the way he thought about others. “The people that were in my group made me realize that they weren’t just ‘classmates’, but they were my friends. After sharing my personal story and opening up to them, I realized that all of us were more than friends, but a family that I was always part of,” said Licerio.

Not only did students draw closer to God, they drew closer to each other. Students were given the opportunity at the retreat to write forgiveness letters which helped fixed damaged relationships within each other. Junior Ivana Fernandez says that the overall retreat was “an experience she will never forget.” She also adds that all of the Campus Ministers were extremely courageous for giving heartfelt speeches and sharing them with the students. It made her realize that writing forgiveness letters to her peers was a great idea because it helped her open herself up with how she felt. The main purpose of the retreat was forgiveness, therefore, having these opportunities were super important.

After the group discussions and adoration, students throughout the retreat were drawn closer together. To end the retreat, there were final faith talks and confession. These faith talks gave students the realization of how important it was to forgive others. Overall, the retreat that some students at first thought was a regular field trip turned into an experience of a lifetime.

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