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Students share their experience from Colonel Awakening retreat
February 9, 2017
Students attended the Colonel Awakening retreat this past weekend to learn more about and grow deeper in their faith.
Colonel Awakening is a weekend long, student led retreat. It is held twice a year at St. Thomas Aquinas. The goal of the weekend is to bring young adults into a personal encounter with Jesus.
Awakening is formed on Catholic principles but students from all denominations are invited to attend. Hailey Sellers, sophomore culinary major from New Orleans, attended the event as someone trying to find her spiritual path.
“I went in not knowing what I wanted to do with my religion,” Sellers said. “I was thinking about converting so I decided to try out this retreat. At Awakening, I knew that’s where I wanted to be.”
Sellers explained how she has a stronger faith now that she did not have before.
“I plan on continuing to do what I learned. It doesn’t stop here,” Sellers said.
The weekend’s schedule includes talks, skits, activities, discussions, praise and worship and more. It allows for students to take time to look inwardly and think about their own spiritual journey.
Taylor Lejeune, freshmen biology major from Frisco explained her experience.
“The name of the retreat itself explains what it has done for my faith; awakened me from a sleep in faith,” Lejeune said. “The entire weekend allowed me to sit with Christ and let Him love me, as I did the same on to Him. Through college nothing is ever constant, except the Lord. The Awakening reminded me of that.”
All college-age students are welcome to attend even if they are not a registered student at Nicholls State University.
Jordan Lang, sophomore mass communication major from Paulina, attended the retreat with a solid foundation of her faith.
“I went into it already deep in my faith, but coming out of it, I found my roots were even stronger and deeper,” Lang said. “The holy spirit lit a fire deep in me and now I’m ready to go out into the world.”
Lang explained how Awakening does not have to be a one-time experience.
“There are multiple ways to experience it,” said Lang. “You don’t just have to go once. You can come back as a staff member and be a witness for other people going through it. It always gives and gives and gives.”
Awakening was developed by Bishop Emeritus Sam Jacob of the Houma-Thibodaux Diocese’s and the retreat has spread to colleges throughout the United States.
If Awakening is not offered at a particular university, a student can attend the retreat at any other school.
Nicholls’ first Awakening was in the spring of 1974.
The retreat fee is $35 for students and $30 for staff which includes food for the weekend and a t-shirt. To register, visit stthomasthibodaux.org/Awakening. The next retreat will be in the fall semester.
“It’s silly to say, but I wish I could forget this weekend even happened so that I can go back and experience it again,” Lang said.