Every year the Saint Benedict Institute offers an Advent retreat for students at Camp Geneva. Last year, over thirty students attended the retreat with famous retreat master and Hope alum Fr. David Meconi, S.J. He introduced the retreat attendees to prayer in the Ignatian tradition, which uses the imagination and "applies the senses" to the scenes of sacred scripture.
One student said, “The Advent retreat put my soul and spirit at ease as I prepare for the birth of the Lord and made the transition from chaotic outside to calm inside simple” while another said, “The silence brought a peace I didn't expect to find.” Still another said the topics discussed on the retreat, “helped me recognize Mary's role during Advent and how we too can wait patiently while the Lord grows within us.”
Donations make it possible for the Saint Benedict Institute to continue to put on retreats and other programs for students. On November 28th, #GivingTuesday, make a donation to support events like this one.
Hear from Saint Benedict Society Members
Cory and Kenzie are members of the Saint Benedict Society and recent Hope graduates. When asked why they contribute monthly they said, "We wish the Saint Benedict Institute had been around when we were students at Hope! We are thankful that it is proclaiming Catholic truth in a way that is leading students into a stronger and more intimate relationship with Christ and his Church. We also appreciate its intellectual robustness and ecumenical engagement.
Giving automatically helps us to be consistent in our support and keeps us from forgetting or procrastinating. As Saint Benedict Society members, we've also been invited to several events that gave us an opportunity to interact more closely with the speakers.
Most recently, we have been immensely blessed by Fr. Nick's ministry, particularly daily Mass on campus. We always enjoy the speaking events, especially recent ones about Christian art and the role of exorcism in the Church's ministry. We served as chaperones on last year's Advent retreat for students, which was wonderful."
For the first time in history Hope College has daily Mass on campus. Monday through Saturday Mass is celebrated at noon in the heart of campus in the newly built Harvey Chapel. Sunday Mass is celebrated at 5pm across the pine grove in Winants Auditorium.
Sydney is a junior from Holland, MI. She is studying Spanish and hopes to work as a health care provider. Sydney shared a bit about why she attends daily Mass.
She said, “I attend daily Mass because it provides a foundation for my day. That touch-point in the middle of my busy class days helps keep me grounded in my faith, and reminds me to take a step back from the stress and sink into God's loving embrace. It also keeps me accountable to "pray without ceasing," even in the midst of college life. Attending daily Mass has been monumental in the growth of my faith this year, and has given me a beautiful sense of community as Catholics on campus come together to worship in a way that this college hasn't seen before.”
Donate on #GivingTuesday, November 28th, to support daily Mass and a variety of other programs offered by the Saint Benedict Institute.
STUDENTS GIVING FOR STUDENTS
Emily Downs, a senior at Hope College, is a Saint Benedict Institute donor. Emily is an International Studies and German double major from Canton, MI. She participates in campus Mass by singing in the choir, she is a regular attendee at Saint Benedict lectures, she goes to the Women's prayer group hosted by Fr. Nick on Wednesday nights, and loves the opportunity to attend daily Mass.
When asked why she donates Emily said she wants to, "keep Fr. Nick around." She decided to give to the Saint Benedict Institute in order to practice tithing and feels that giving financially is a way she can, "take part in the mission" of the Institute more fully.
When asked why students should give Emily said, "being a part of the Catholic community means supporting it in any way that you can." Emily feels that by donating to the Saint Benedict Institute she has contributed to her own spiritual well-being as well as the spiritual well-being of her fellow students, creating a better campus environment overall.
WHAT IS #GIVINGTUESDAY?
This year the Saint Benedict Institute is participating in a nationwide movement called #GivingTuesday. This is a global day of giving that harnesses the collective power of individuals, communities, and organizations to encourage philanthropy and to celebrate generosity worldwide.
Occurring on November 28, #GivingTuesday is held annually on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday to kick off the holiday giving season and inspire people to collaborate in improving their local communities and to give back in impactful ways to the charities and causes they support. #GivingTuesday demonstrates how every act of generosity counts, and that they mean even more when we give together.
#GIVINGTUESDAY Supporting THE SAINT BENEDICT INSTITUTE
Every Tuesday leading up to #GivingTuesday we will feature a donor or program on this blog and on our Facebook page. This year we want to encourage you not only to make a donation on November 28th, but to keep the giving going and make every last Tuesday of the month #GivingTuesday by joining the Saint Benedict Society, our monthly giving program. To learn more about becoming a monthly giver check out our Saint Benedict Society by clicking on the image above.