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SEARCH XIV: A Time for Reflection

by MaryKate McGurk

SEARCH XIV: A Time for Reflection


The fourteenth SEARCH Retreat was an experience offered for sophomores, juniors, and seniors of Neumann University, held from April 24-26 at the Maris Stella retreat center on Long Beach Island. Over 20 students attended the retreat for the first time along with five student leaders, Campus Ministers Patrick McKenzie and Maria Marx, as well as general manager of Neumann Media and Neumann Search Retreat alumni Sean McDonald. While disconnected from any and all electronics or digital communication, the attendees were given the opportunity to listen to talks offered by the student leaders as well as reflect on their own lives and grow in their relationship with God.


Small and large group discussion encouraged students to open up and share experiences about their own spiritual and personal journeys.  Themes of the weekend included relationship with self, others, and God. In addition, leaders covered the topic of forgiveness, while allowing time to experience confession with the University Chaplain Reverend Philip J. Lowe, III. A goal of the retreat is to encourage students to take what they learned from the retreat and apply it to their daily lives. It was a chance to take a step back and reevaluate life as well as meet other students in a supportive, engaging atmosphere. 


This is a unique experience offered on a variety of college campuses across the country. Students have the opportunity to learn what holds back love in their own lives and how to move past these obstacles. Many describe the retreat as life-changing and eye-opening due to the spiritual atmosphere and deep conversation unique to the weekend. As a leader, I know how amazing the experience was when I went for the first time, but it was even more remarkable to see the growth of all of the attendees throughout the weekend. It is an experience I will always encourage other students to try. SEARCH changed my life for the better, and I know if can do the same for many to come. 


To participate in Campus Ministry retreats, Neumann University students can visit the ministry center on the first floor of the Bachmann building. There you will find campus ministers Patrick McKenzie and Maria Marx as well as a Campus Ministry student staff who can introduce you to our retreat offerings. 



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