By Max Bliese

October brings a lot of wonderful things like Halloween, golden leaves on the sidewalk, but most importantly, an Antioch retreat. The purpose of this article is to grab the attention of anyone who might be interested in a weekend-long retreat filled with opportunities to get away and grow in community, grow in yourself, and grow in your faith.

The weekend consists of personal reflections by speakers, being part of a small group of other retreaters, games and activities, and also prayer activities with mass.

It’s important to clarify that you do not need to be Catholic to go on this retreat. You will not be forced to go to mass every Sunday or pray before meals. Take it from me, I went on Antioch retreat spring semester of my first year, I’m now a senior. I did not call myself a Catholic at that time; I remember filling out my sign-up sheet with the term, “distant Catholic.”

My experience of God and faith has lots of bumps in the road; I signed up for the retreat because a senior at that time told me the retreat is a place where I can ask any questions, communicate concerns and complaints with other students, and witness some experiences with God and with a faith community. While Antioch isn’t a “be all end all” to the faith journey, it was a great step forward into the lifelong journey made possible by the people I met and the things I experienced there. I truly did not start to call Loras ‘home’ until after my Antioch retreat. I made so many friends—some that I call family now. I invite you to go on this retreat to grow in your faith.

While we do want students from all walks of the faith spectrum to sign up, we ask that you do so with an open-mind and positive attitude. Antioch sign-up sheets are yellow pamphlets that can be found by the mailboxes and outside the Spiritual Life Offices (ACC 460, next to the health center).

The retreat begins the night of Friday, Nov. 8, and goes into Sunday afternoon, Nov. 10. Reach out, ask some people about what to expect, ask about concerns you have, and ask for more information. Reach out to the directors of the retreat, seniors Erin Cain and Sarah Mockler, or coordinator of faith development Debbie Gross. Feel free to email me or stop me if you see me. You can always find people to ask at the Spiritual Life Offices, just walk in and say hi.

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