Authentic Community; First Semester Reflection

Reflection by Grace Hincapié; Freshman at Benedictine College

God has truly surprised me in my first two months here at Benedictine College. These first moments of my freshman year have been the most rewarding yet also the most challenging, but the Lord is constantly showing me that He is always looking out for me. I come from a very active Catholic family that made the faith and serving the Church the highest priority in our life. So when it came time to choose where I would attend college, it was just a given that I would go to a Catholic school with a strong faith life. When I answered the Lord’s call to come here, I didn’t really know what to expect. When doing thorough research about the school, I heard of BC’s growing Catholicity and all the awesome things that BC was doing with their students.

Now that I am here at Benedictine I have come to realize that you can’t really explain the charism of the Benedictine campus without experiencing it for yourself. I wake up every day thinking “Wow, I can’t believe I get to call this place my home away from home.” What made this campus feel like home so soon, is the people that I met when arriving on campus. One of the traditions that BC has in the first week of college is the Alpha retreat for freshmen. This was my first encounter with SPO missionaries. They are a remarkable group of young people that I have been blessed to encounter in my first two months of college.

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During fall break I was invited by some SPO missionaries to go to Colorado with them for a fun getaway/retreat. This break came at a perfect time for me, because I felt myself needing to take pause and think about what has happened in these last two months so far. It’s so easy to just go day to day in college without taking in, everything that is happening all around you. So this trip was a perfect time for me to reflect and redirect myself and my mission here at BC. During my time in Colorado I was also given the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding on what SPO stands for and their mission. Morning Prayer was one of my favorite parts of the trip, it was a beautiful time of gathering as woman of the Lord and worshipping Our Lord without reserve. The first things that attracted me to this community and continues to draw me to learn more about, is this idea of authentic sisterhood and having a personal relationship with Our Lord. I knew when coming to college I wanted to find a group of authentic sisters that would be able to hold me accountable as well as grow in the Lord together. Seeing young people so in love with the Lord and worshipping Him because they want to, always leaves me inspired and excited for the future of the Church.

When I think of SPO missionaries I think of the words “intentional” and “authentic”. Everything they do is for the purpose of bringing souls to Christ, so the only agenda they have is what Christ gives them. They are so authentic in their conversations and daily life that you feel like you encountered Christ when you meet them.

SPO was there at the beginning of my collegiate career and I hope they are there at the end of my college journey as well.