At 9:00 a.m. on Saturday morning, approximately thirty college students, accompanied by Bishop Jeffrey Monforton, ventured forth to hike the trails of Raccoon Creek State Park.
The hike started an hour and a half later than intended because his Excellency got lost while trying to find the park. Due to his many jokes upon arriving, the atmosphere was already flooded with laughter and excitement.
About halfway through the hike, Monforton reviewed the readings for the weekend and gave a short homily. Through sharing stories such as how he had to humble himself in front of a group of first graders so that he could expose them to what a Bishop is like, Monforton revealed himself to be a very down-to-earth man.
Moreover, the Monforton elaborated on why it is important to increase generosity and increase our gratefulness in the Lord. As the walk continued after his homily, the students were more open and care-free when it came answering the Bishop’s questions. Each got a chance to talk to him, and it was a beautiful experience to see how much he cared for each.
Because of several navigation issues on the navigators’ part, what should have been a medium six-mile hike, ended up being an exhausting adventure that ended ten miles down the road. At one point, Monforton himself was sliding down a hill in a frog-like position, only to lead the students through a stream as a hope to get them back to the main path.
Despite inconveniences, however, each student who returned to campus at 4:30 p.m. came with a story to tell of his or her experience.
John Powers, freshman, said: “The entire experience was what I needed. It was fun, it was an adventure and I was able to connect with my friends more as we adventured through streams and crawling down hills. I would do it again, even if I had to wake up at 7 am.”
The hike was sponsored by Franciscan University Outdoors Club, which has grown substantially more active in the past few semesters, organizing events such as whitewater rafting and a backpacking trip in August. This is the first of many exciting events of the semester.