By Katie Stanley
It seemed so fitting to take the long, two-mile trek by foot through the rain to the location of our Spring Retreat: the pilgrimage church Maria Plain. There, thanks to the exhaustive preparation of the spiritual committee, we participated in a myriad of activities, from our opening “cinnamon-roll hug,” to discussions on topics like friendship, to bonding games and writing each other affirmation notes. The retreat lasted two days, though we returned to the Center Friday night to do some activities at home. We got to witness the talent of our group in a talent show, featuring songs, dances, story-readings, and more. After that, we enjoyed a movie together. Saturday was a regimen of more fun and bonding, including lunch at a wonderful Austrian restaurant where we ate authentic cuisine, even the fame dessert, Salzburger Nockerl!
In the many months prior, we’d certainly done plenty of bonding—but as the dark days of winter drug on, it had become easy to take things for granted, even friendships. Thus, the Spring Retreat was a great opportunity to refocus on the important things, remember our blessings, and renew friendships that had been given the chance to stale over the past stressful weeks. We learned a little more about each other on topics that don’t necessarily come up in everyday conversation, coming to understand one another just a bit better. And as we walked back on our last day, a stronger sense of camaraderie was beginning to resurface. How bittersweet we would soon find this closeness to be as our impending day of departure grew ever nearer.