Undergraduate Catholic Leadership Team's retreat inspires students to do that scariest of things: Share their faith
On Saturday, September 24, 2016, I accompanied various leaders of the Catholic Community at Stanford for a weekend retreat to the San Jose Mission of the Dominican Sisters. Being as it was my first official event as a member of the leadership team, I quite frankly didn’t know what to expect. When I arrived however, I was met with nothing short of a welcoming, loving, and open community of proud Catholics who were ready to learn, lead, and share their faith. The weekend—marked by the distinct holiness of the mission, the hospitality of the Dominican Sisters, talks given by leaders from the Evangelical Catholic organization, small group activities, prayer, and worship—was a beautiful experience full of spiritual enrichment, fellowship, and faith.
One of the major themes of the retreat was centered on the topic of evangelization. Through these discussions, I found encouragement and strength in learning of ways that I’d be able to share my faith with those around me, especially in the context of a diverse university setting. Another part of the retreat that resonated with me was our time together in adoration and worship. While I typically viewed prayer as a solitary and deeply personal act between myself and God, I also found great beauty and grace while praying with one another through intercessory prayer. In those moments, I was moved by how genuine, sincere, and powerful our prayers felt.
I left the retreat feeling a sense of deep peace within myself. I left feeling inspired to continue adding depth to my faith. But more than anything, I left with the growing desire to share God’s love that I felt with others. The retreat instilled within me the newfound confidence and courage to root down in my faith and branch out to others on campus. It gave me a greater perspective about how to grow in faith with community that I was going to serve, and reaffirmed my purpose as a child of God and as Christ’s disciple. I can’t imagine asking for a better start to my school year.
Vivian Nguyen ’19, is a B.A. Candidate in Human Biology