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Colonel Catholics Awakening Retreat

October 20, 2017


Photo by: Rachel Klaus

The Nicholls Colonel Catholics are hosting the 42nd annual Colonel Catholic Awakening Retreat at
St. Thomas Aquinas Oct. 20 through 22.

The Colonel Awakening is for all college-aged students. Even students from other universities
can sign up and attend, as well as people who are college-age and aren’t enrolled at any university.

“Our goal at St. Thomas is for students to have a social foundation in faith and in good
friendships,” Annie Knight, mass communications junior from Thibodaux, said. “The Awakening is a place
to come and get to know everyone. For the retreat we come and spend the entire weekend here. It’s a
good way to have time for prayer and to take a step back from school and to get the know the Lord and
each other better.”

Nicholls was one of the first campuses to have a retreat. It was put on for a couple of years and
it went away for 10 years. It just recently came back when Father John David Matherne was in college.

“Colonel awakening is a retreat that is a tradition for Colonel Catholics,” Knight said. “It is one
of the bigger events that we push and promote. The Colonel Awakening is largely about community
building, that is mostly what St. Thomas Aquinas is about.”

This year the Colonel Awakening has 60 people signed up. It is one of the larger turnouts of
retreat participants.

“Attending the retreats has definitely changed me over the years,” Knight said, “getting out of
my comfort zone and being able to mingle with new people. Also, the ability to coordinate a retreat
taught me to trust other people as well as delegate and to all around become a better leader.”

The retreat has plenty of different speakers who give talks throughout the weekend. For the
most part, it is students sharing stories and giving testimonies.

“One of my favorite parts is before the speakers go on we have this thing called a hug line song,”
Knight said. “We play their favorite song and everyone at the retreat take turns giving them hugs. We
dance and laugh and just try to pump them up before they give their speech.”

The Colonel Catholics hold two retreats every year: one in the fall and one in the spring. St.
Thomas Aquinas also has weekly masses and a student center open to all students.

“Our community is open to anyone and everyone. It is faith based,” Knight said. “It is also
ordinary people. If you want to broaden your horizons with new people on campus, come visit. We have
plenty of fun, loving and amazing people who would absolutely love to meet you and hang out with

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