Coverage Areas:  National |  South Carolina |  Aiken |  Beaufort |  Charleston |  Columbia |  Greenville |  Myrtle Beach |  Rock Hill
Menu

College students bring faith to forefront at retreat

By JULIE CAVANAUGH

TABLE ROCK — With over half of the semester completed, college students around the state gathered to share faith and fellowship at a retreat Oct. 23-25 in Table Rock, S.C. Following the theme, “Encountering Self, Others and God,” the students discussed how God is active and present in their lives and how to live his word everyday.

Raul Estrada, a senior at the College of Charleston and a student liaison to the diocese, said the support offered at the retreat reinforced students’ beliefs and reaffirmed their faith.

“The retreat was beneficial in that students could come together and experience faith and worship together and, for a little while, live among a community of people who have the same struggles and problems,” Estrada said.

College students live in a unique microcosm where everything is challenged and questioned. Combined with the geographic location of these schools in the South, the Bible Belt of America, the average Catholic student is constantly presented with obstacles to which he or she must overcome.

Much of the programmed time was spent in small group discussions that allowed students to get to know each other better and to speak on a more personal level about their own faith experience.

As a senior at Clemson University, Stacey Hanna said she appreciated knowing that other people wrestle with the same problems she does.

“Sharing in the groups and talking about issues we all face was very helpful,” Hanna said. “It is good to know you’re not the only one who has these problems and that what you believe, because you are Catholic, isn’t wrong.”

The activities during the weekend included a guided meditation, an evening Mass, a group rosary and a day hike to the top of Table Rock on Saturday afternoon.

The event doubled in size from the last retreat held in the spring. With a little over 100 students attending, a larger facility was needed to accommodate students from South Carolina State University, Clemson University, University of South Carolina, Winthrop University, the College of Charleston and The Citadel.

For some students the retreat was a good way to focus for what promises to be a stressful semester finale. Atiba Cresse, a freshman at South Carolina State University, is a long way from home as an exchange student from Trinidad. He said the retreat gave him the opportunity to reconnect with God in a fun, but religious way.

“A retreat like this one helps to spiritually balance and focus what can be a traumatic life as a college student,” Cresse said. “It is really good to stop seeing yourself as an individual, but rather as one unit with others in faith.”

The Catholic Campus ministries across the state sponsor weekly events for students to attend as their schedule permits. Some of these include Bible studies, free meals and programs, service projects and, of course, weekly Mass.

There are plans for a spring retreat in February and students are eager to see one another and to share and grow in their faith.

“God proves he exists each day and if I pattern myself after the Ten Commandments and the works of Jesus, I can’t go wrong,” Cresse said. “The Catholic church is definitely for me.”




  • Diocesan Events Calendar
    View All Events
    Oct 207:00 pm Mision y Correspons. #2
    From the Calendar of Pastoral Juvenil
    7:00 pm Bishop presiding Confirmation - Our Lady of the Rosary - Greenville
    From the Calendar of Bishop's Office
    Oct 218:30 am Diaconate Formation Class
    From the Calendar of Diaconate
    Diocese of Charleston Native American Catholic Heritage Celebration
    From the Calendar of Native American Ministry
    12:00 pm Native American Heritage Celebration - Our Lady of the Rosary- Mass at noon followed by luncheon
    From the Calendar of Bishop's Office
    Oct 228:30 am Diaconate Formation Class
    From the Calendar of Diaconate
    2:00 pm Permanent Diaconate Ordination
    From the Calendar of Diaconate
    Oct 23 End of 1 Qtr. ( 45 days)
    From the Calendar of St. Michael School Murrells Inlet
    Red Ribbon Week
    From the Calendar of St. Michael School Murrells Inlet
    NO SCHOOL - Fall Break
    From the Calendar of St. Mary School Greenville
    Early Dismissal
    From the Calendar of St. Peter School Columbia
    2:00 Dismissal
    From the Calendar of St. Joseph School Columbia
    Red Ribbon Week
    From the Calendar of St. Joseph School Columbia
    Faculty In-service
    From the Calendar of St. Martin de Porres School Columbia
    Faculty In-service
    From the Calendar of St. John Neumann School Columbia
    End of 1st Nine Weeks
    From the Calendar of St. Anthony School Florence
    Book Fair
    From the Calendar of Holy Trinity North Myrtle Beach
    Quarter 2 Begins
    From the Calendar of Christ Our King Mount Pleasant
    7:00 pm Mision y Correspons. #1
    From the Calendar of Pastoral Juvenil
    Oct 24 End of 1st Grading period
    From the Calendar of St. Mary School Greenville