79 students came on retreat with the Northeastern Catholic Center! It was a time where students could dive deep in their faith, encounter the Lord Jesus again or for the first time, and grow in community with one another. The retreat was located in Groton, Massachusetts, about an hour northwest of Boston. The grounds were beautiful. A lake and plenty of trees to sit under. The theme for the retreat was Vini Vidi Vicit, "I came. I saw. He conquered." There were several talks, praise and worship, and plenty of time for prayer with all-night adoration. The talks centered around showing up to prayer, seeing God in our everyday lives, our view of God and how He conquers our sin and brings us freedom, as well as what a life as a "conquered" Christian looks like.
I saw students lives change on retreat and God work powerfully. I saw students laugh, jump for joy, cry, sing, and play. I saw my brothers and sisters be brought into new life. I saw students come out of Confession with a huge burden lifted off their shoulders- overjoyed. I saw God move in my own heart and in His people's hearts. This retreat was one that brought the Catholic Center community together. Whether it was through board games, Wiffle ball, a fire outside near the lake with s'mores, worshipping together, or simply sitting together and sharing life. The community came out stronger and renewed in their faith. I saw myself and students grow closer to God by worshiping Him together whether it was during Mass, adoration, confession, or praise and worship. People often question or ask themselves where God is present or working in their lives- it was a blessing to see Him work on this retreat in my life and in every person who went on retreat.
He conquered! Jesus conquered sin on this retreat; He conquered worries and fears. He conquered doubts, healed wounds, and in a very real way brought people into new life. The idea of God conquering us is a little jarring- but it is actually something that should be freeing. God wants to conquer the things in life that trap, burden, or harm us. After this retreat, we grew in understanding in what it means for Him to conquer. It means that He wants to conquer anything separating us from His love and from the fullest life He meant for us to live, "I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly." (John 10:10 NABRE) I'm grateful to the Lord for His call for me to be a missionary and for all the ways he worked on this Fall retreat.
Kevin McNaughton, Missionary at Northeastern University