During college, there is usually only an emphasis on getting an education and graduating school. With the degree that you receive, hopefully you can find a job. I always believed there had to be something more to it than that. During the Fall of 2012, I was still a student at the University of Texas at Arlington. I had a friend named Jesse that told me that I must attend this retreat called Awakening. I reluctantly agreed. It turned out to be the greatest retreat that I have ever been on, and rekindled a love for God that to this day has still yet to dwindle.
Awakening has given me a huge meaning to life. I have seen this retreat save lives, mend torn hearts, and renew broken souls. Since then, I have attended and staffed fifteen other Awakenings. These retreats eventually led me to transferring to SFASU. The retreatants and staffers that I met had so much joy and so much love to give. They are some of the best people that I know, and I am truly blessed to call them my friends. Before this, I did not have such a thing as school spirit, or another place that I could call home. I had never been so well accepted for who I was, and I had never seen so many college students so in tuned with Christ and wanting to spread His word and love. This just made me look in awe, and I thought to myself, why should I just wait to see them every Awakening? I should just transfer and be a part of them.
After arriving and being a part of St. Mary’s for the past two years, I have found that this is truly a great place. Many other students like myself call this place home. A wonderful feeling to have when you are so far away from your loved ones. The members of the community function as though they are all a family. Everyone is so loving and compassionate that you just feel like you belong. St. Mary’s has many great organizations and programs to be a part of. Each have their own strengths and purpose, but the common goal and purpose is to continue leading each other towards Christ, and showing us how to lead a life as a Catholic in college. A great way to get plugged in and meet new students is through Awakening.
As September approaches, we are pleased to announce that we will have SFA Awakening 50. This is a great milestone for us, and marks the many lives that we have touched and transformed, mine included. As with all Awakenings, this retreat is planned, coordinated, and staffed entirely by students. We have found that this is the greatest way to relate and have as many people as possible open up in their faith. Seeing their fellow peers show this never ending love for God is the key to their hearts. The staff that come to help are not only students from SFA, but from all around Texas. We have staffers from Baylor, UT Arlington, UNT, UT Tyler, and the many colleges in the Houston area. We are a network of college students that want to further spread our faith on campus, and we come together to put on a retreat to bring our friends closer to God. Please pray for SFA Awakening 50 and our continuing success in bringing each other closer to God.