A Community to be Thankful for: Benedictine College Formation

By Anne Hickerson

With the holiday season beginning and the end of the semester in sight, the Formation community at Benedictine College pressed pause on final projects/tests and premature holiday music to go on our annual fall retreat. As we split into two retreats, men and women, the Lord had a generous helping of truth and mercy for us women. In just over 24 hours we heard a message of love and an invitation to come to Him, to run to Him even, just as we are, without the pressure of perfection weighing us down. 

Yes, the Lord calls us to perfection, "Be perfect, therefore as your Heavenly Father is perfect" (Matt 5:48), but we aren't without hope because Jesus wants to bring order and restoration to lead us to His perfection. Jesus asks to share in our struggles and He also provides community for us to lean into. We were able to leave the retreat with greater confidence in the Lord and His provision through His unfailing mercy and the great gift of sisterhood. 

Back in August, many students from our Formation community attended the School of the New Evangelization. The Lord spoke a word of abundance for our community, during our prayer time together, for the upcoming school year. That word as been confirmed over and over again throughout the semester as our community has grown in amazing ways. We have been going through a study on Christ Relationships and are learning how to create a new culture by the way we relate to and love one another along our journey to unity with Christ. 

I have never been more proud to be a part of anything like the way I am proud to be a part of this community. I am surrounded by men and women who constantly push one another to radically give everything to the Lord. There is a standard of love and respect that goes above and beyond treating others well. This community thrives by honoring one another in words and actions, living out Benedictine hospitality in a way that surely makes St. Benedict smile, and sharing mission to glorify the Lord. The abundance of the Lord is tangible in the light that our Formation men and women bring to the campus of Benedictine College and will surely take with them wherever the Lord leads. 

So as I press play on the remainder of my final semester as a student (!!!) and think about what I am thankful for this Thanksgiving, I place my Formation community at the top of my list. We have a generous Father who always has more for His people. "For I am confident of this, the He who began a good work in you will continue to perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus" (Philippian's 1:6).