Over 100 students grew in knowledge and love of the Holy Spirit through the Born of the Spirit retreat over the weekend of February 22-24.
Through prayer, talks and small groups, core team members and guest speakers built up the retreat-goers to live more fully in the Spirit. The core team was made up of students and religious who have been on the retreat before and wanted to bring that experience to others.
On Friday night, the retreat began in the Gentile Gallery with a warm welcome and some ice breakers followed by a moving talk on the love of God the Father from alumnus Eddie Wamala Amooti in Christ the King Chapel. Amooti focused on intimacy with the Father like Jesus had, quoting John 15:9: “As the Father loves me, so I also love you; abide in my love.”
Throughout the retreat were testimonies and times of praise and worship led by members of the core team. Students were encouraged to use their bodies to pray by lifting their hands, dancing or doing anything that helped them to express the freedom Jesus Christ called them to. At one point, the students even stood on their chairs to praise.
Saturday featured several talks, testimonies, Mass and a time of prayer in the evening. Interspersed with small groups and confession, these talks taught the retreat-goers more knowledge about the Holy Spirit. A morning talk shared how healing is a journey that leads one to encounter with Jesus.
William Newton, who holds a doctorate in theology from the John Paul II Institute, shared with the group more about the nature of the Holy Spirit, focusing on him as a gift and as love. Sister Sarah Rose Dent built off of Newton’s talk with more explanation of the charismatic gifts which issue forth from the Holy Spirit.
By Saturday night, there had been a true shift in the atmosphere from one of hesitation to one of confidence in knowledge which translated into prayer. For several hours, retreat-goers and volunteer prayer ministers prayed healing, transformation and baptism of the Spirit over each other in Christ the King Chapel.
The final talk, given Sunday morning, was from John Beaulieu, director of evangelization and engagement for the Christian Outreach Office. Beaulieu gave the participants tips on living discipleship in the Holy Spirit, giving the examples of Mary Magdalene and Ananias from the Bible.
The retreat concluded with the 12:30 p.m. Sunday Mass in Christ the King Chapel celebrated by retreat chaplain the Rev. Matt Russick, TOR, as well as the Rev. Nathan Malavolti, TOR.
Core team members and retreat-goers alike said they were excited to partake in the revival of life in the Holy Spirit on campus. Freshman Zoey Stapleton said it was her first time on the retreat, and she “loved every minute of it.”
“It went over and beyond my expectations,” she said. “God really blessed my life and he told me that he has a great journey waiting for me, and I can’t wait to go on that journey.”