Written by: Peer Minister, Joana Cainglet ('22)
In a blink of an eye, our lives changed. From sitting in a classroom full of students and being able to hang out with all your friends to empty hallways and muted microphones, we were living in a world where our daily routines stopped and completely shifted. Virtual classes, social distancing, and isolation have caused us to sit and wait for the day to come when everything is back to normalcy. During this time, Campus Ministry had the opportunity to sit and reflect on who we are and where we want to be. It was a year of praying and discussing ideas about what Cabrini wanted in liturgy, service, retreats, and communication through social media.
Knowing the events, retreats, and service projects we wanted to tackle, the Director of Campus Ministry, Mr. Guilherme Lopes (G), decided that it would be best to set aside time to pray and plan for the upcoming school year. The peer ministers - Katlynn Razler, Joana Cainglet, Jessica Dubé, and Bri Walsh - along with G and University Chaplain, Fr. Dave Driesch, were welcomed to the Daylesford Abbey the first weekend of June for our retreat. Our goal was to schedule the next 12 months of campus ministry activities, retreats, and events in just three days.
When we arrived, we were greeted with big smiles, and that’s when it hit me. This was the first time we were able to interact with each other without masks on. We went on a beautiful nature walk, had a wonderful dinner, and were given a warm introduction to the Abbey where we learned about the life of St. Norbert. At the end of the day, we had the opportunity to receive reconciliation and be in God’s presence through Adoration. It was a time to reflect and think, “What did I do today with Jesus? What did I do today without Him?”
With a long day awaiting, we began our Saturday with morning prayer and mass with the Norbertine community then dove right into planning for the 2021-2022 school year. As we went through the calendar, we highlighted the important religious dates and days and took notes on our theme for each month. As we inched our way through the year, we took many breaks and stopped for lunch, dinner, and evening prayer. Fr. Dave even gave us a tour of the Abbey! After a long day and an even longer document with all our notes, we finished. You’d think after the day we had, all we would want was rest, but that could be further from the truth. We, the peer ministers, decided to stay up for most of the night chit-chatting and filling out our own calendars.
Despite the lack of sleep, we were up early for morning prayer and mass. We then finalized and reviewed what we accomplished the day before, had brunch, and said our goodbyes. We are so beyond thankful to the Norbertine community for welcoming us and hosting our retreat. It was such an amazing experience.
During our days of prayer and planning, not only did we have a chance to connect with God and each other, but we also had the opportunity to prepare for what’s ahead. Because I don’t want to spoil anything, I can only say how excited we are for the upcoming school year. We have so much planned like events, meetings, retreats, and service projects, and we are so ready for everyone to be on campus. Here’s a little hint: we have something going on every single week, and everyone's invited!