The whirlwind of another school year has begun! As students came onto the campus of Benedictine College this year, they were reminded of their purpose. They are “Called to Greatness.”
A week after the arrival of students, Saint Paul’s Outreach was again asked to carry on a Benedictine tradition: ALPHA, the freshman retreat. 350 freshman and student leaders came together to kick off the start of the new school year. The theme for this year at Benedictine, “Called to Greatness”, was a perfect springboard for this year’s ALPHA retreat. So often, college students are pulled into the empty promises of the world. This year’s freshman were challenged through talks, testimonies, and small groups to choose what kind of greatness they desired; the greatness offered by the world, or the greatness offered by our Lord.
In only a few hours, the Lord began to transform hearts. Students were given the opportunity to go to confession and receive the sacrament of reconciliation. During praise and worship, it was amazing to see the work that the Lord did in the lives of freshman students. One small group leader shared “I did not have very high expectations for Alpha – what can really happen in three hours? I saw my small group move from ‘yeah I trust God, I am doing ok,’ to “I actually have these different things I can work on,” only 10 minutes later. They moved to a real place of humility. God did not even need 3 hours; He only needed 20 minutes.”
After the ALPHA retreat, the SPO men’s and women’s households hosted after parties for the freshman and student leaders. This was a time of authentic fun and friendship where students were connected and plugged into our life in Saint Paul’s Outreach. It was a great opportunity to welcome men and women into our homes and community.
The Lord is calling the Benedictine campus to great things this year. It is exciting that Saint Paul's Outreach gets to pursue and experience the Lord's blessings alongside the students this year!