Koinonia Faith Retreat
Campus ministry hosts retreat for BenU students
by Jessica Buettner
This past weekend several Benedictine students got the chance to come together to attend Koinonia, the annual fall retreat hosted by campus ministry.
Koinonia is rooted from the Greeks and it means fellowship; this is truly what the retreat is all about. Students spent two days together in the campus ministry floor of Kindlon doing various activities. From singing songs and having witnesses talk about several topics to eating meals as a community and praying as one. This retreat is open for any religion, despite the fact that it is truly focused on a Catholic perspective.
There were 9 participants that decided to partake in the experience along with 10 team members to help guide them along the way. Some of the activities include listening to speakers, singing and dancing to songs, as well as spending some time in reflection with the Lord.
Chris Wido, a junior at Benedictine and one of the Koinonia participants, said that he truly enjoyed each part of the retreat and all that it had to offer.
“From going to confession to get rid of our sins and all of the prayers we had given to us to the different speakers and the games we played, I personally believed every minute of it was fantastic,” said Wido.
Jessica Peek, coordinator of retreats and faith formation, is one of the many people who helped put the retreat together. “The retreat team is selected in the spring and starts planning in the fall,” Peek comments. “They meet weekly for about eight weeks to make sure the retreat is prepared for the participants.”
The retreat has been going on for many semesters now and it has truly been tradition for the participants to gain an experience that will change the way they look at their faith life. Through various lessons to be taught by team members about how to live out their life in a more religious way.
“With Christ as our model, we die to our brokenness, rise with new life, and go into the world with the love of God,” Peek said about the main focus of Koinonia. “This retreat creates, develops and builds community by bringing individuals closer to Christ. This is done through experiences of Christian witness, faithful encounters, discussions, and communal living centered own the Paschal Mystery of Christ.”
Even though many people are a part of a religion that isn’t Catholic, the retreat invites everyone who has the opportunity to participate in each aspect of the retreat in their own way. “There are a various of different experiences and activities that appeal to different personalities, backgrounds, and interests,” Peek commented on a secondary idea of Koinonia.
Koinonia is the Greek word for “fellowship,” or community; another true focus of the retreat was to bring people together. Some of those people were just meeting each other for the first time and that was a great chance for them to make new friends. The Koinonia community seems to keep growing year after year and it’s truly amazing to see how they find a way to connect with each other. The retreat lasted for two days and included different opportunities for people to see their religion in a new light. Even though it was focused on the religion part of someone’s life, it was also truly about building friendships and finding a sense of self.
“we hope that all who attend gain a deeper understanding of their faith and build a community with one another, in addition to having a lot of fun!” Peek said.
Wido mentions how the retreat made him feel like he was becoming a part of something that was truly great.
“Channeling God’s love and not only getting closer to him but getting closer to each person on the retreat, becoming more closer to one another. We really became a big family and Christ is counting on all of us to do our part in this world,” said Wido.
The next chance to take part in Koinonia will take place in the fall of 2016 and it would be amazing to have a lot of people be a part of BK 25. It’s truly full of opportunities and activities that can change how a person may view their religious life while developing a bunch of new friendships all in the course of one weekend.