Holy Spirit Parish Stevens Point Wisconsin Campus Ministry Director Jessica Enstad recently welcomed 65 University of Wisconsin Stevens Point students for a Busy Student Retreat. Her invitation included: “The fire of faith, the light of the world is stirring in us, leading us. That is the journey we’ll be on this week. Why do we need the fire of faith? This week is all about recognizing our need for God and for faith, how to combat the sin and pressures of the world from putting out that fire and how to share the fire of faith with those around us.”
To fully benefit from the retreat, students committed to the following:
- Set aside time each day for four days to pray on your own.
- Meet with a spiritual director for a half hour each day for four days.
- As Catholic Christians, we value community. Dinner will be served every night of the retreat. Join as your schedule allows.
- We value praying as a community. Join retreat participants for praise and preaching each night. And, if your schedule allows, gather for Mass each day of the retreat.
Franciscan Sister of Christian Charity Sister Julie Ann Sheahan was one of eight Spiritual Directors invited to listen attentively and to help students discover how God moves in their lives. A large number of students that registered for the week, Holy Spirit Pastor Fr. Steve Brice, along with attending to sacramental needs, generously gave of himself for one on one conversations so that as many students as wanted would encounter God’s love more deeply throughout this time. FOCUS Missionaries, new to the campus this school year, were also passionate in extending invitations to all they met leading up to Sunday Evening’s Eucharist. University of Wisconsin–Stevens Point – FOCUS (focusoncampus.org)
One student reflected: “I had never done a retreat or had a spiritual direction experience before. I signed up out of the longing for direction and was nervous. I didn’t know what to expect, but you were the calm, understanding and joyful soul I think God knew I needed. I came looking for a sign of what will come next and where to go, and He used you to gently remind me the path towards Him is all He asks.”.
A tremendous blessing of this week are the many Holy Spirit Parish Members who gave of themselves whether in coming to pray at the liturgies or spending time in Adoration before the Blessed Sacrament, bringing food for meals, preparing meals and offering hospitality to Spiritual Directors. As one student acknowledged: “Having these faithful, joyful souls among us helps prepare us for parish life after college and fills the emptiness in our hearts for relationships we miss in own home parish family.”