The Carpe Diem retreat is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for all students on campus, literally. Students have the opportunity to attend this trip once as an attendee and once as a leader.Due to the significant impact that it has on the students, many cite it as one of the most memorable weekends at Mercyhurst.
“I think every Mercyhurst student should attend a Carpe Diem retreat because it is a great time to meet people that you probably wouldn’t have a chance to meet on campus and see that you’re not all so different,” said Victoria Noker, junior Hospitality Management major.
The retreat welcomes many different people from many different backgrounds. An important part of the retreat is spending time with friends and taking time before finals to relax and enjoy presence with one another.
While it is a retreat, it is not centered around sharing your story if you don’t want to or getting more in touch with your faith if you do not have a strong background.
Nick Woll, a junior Psychology and Religious Studies major, will be a Carpe Diem 11 leader this November. The retreat is about meeting new friends and finding new people to hang out with that you normally wouldn’t, Woll said.
Getting more in touch with your faith is another bonus that many will experience.
Vince Marrazzo, Mercyhurst Student Government president and senior Intelligence Studies and Information Technology major, will also be a leader on the retreat.
“I think students should go because it is a unique opportunity to learn about yourself and others in an environment that is unparalleled and supportive,” Marrazzo said.
Students spend the weekend at the Villa Maria Retreat Center doing a variety of different activities. There are plenty of opportunities to spend time outdoors, as well as a chance to bond with a roommate and fellow retreat goers. Some of the activities include spending time at the indoor pool, playing games in the gym, doing yoga, walking the grounds, relaxing, writing notes, crafting and journaling, and enjoying the huge snack table. However, the most impactful activities of the weekend are a well-kept secret.
Michelle Scully, a Mercyhurst Campus Minister who graduated in 2016, will also be attending.
“CD is a great way to meet other students on an authentic level rather than how we encounter each other every day,” Scully said.
The Carpe Diem leaders are very excited to host this year’s group of students. They work very hard in order to be prepared to give testimonies that will impact at least one student on the retreat.
Woll’s reason for signing up as a CD leader was along these lines. “I really just wanted others to be impacted by this retreat. I wanted to lead this retreat to show others how impactful it can be,” Woll said.
Marrazzo also said that he was so impacted by the leaders from his first retreat that he attended that he wanted to be able to do for others what his leaders did for him, which is why he felt the desire to be a leader this semester.
The upcoming Carpe Diem retreat, known as CD 11, is the weekend of Nov. 16-18. There are still spots available, and students can find an application in the Campus Ministry lounge in the Student UnionThe application is due on Oct. 26, along with a $20 fee for the activities, food and accommodation.
The retreat is offered once in the fall semester and once in the spring.
There are many more perks about the retreat, but Campus Ministry likes to keep most of the activities a surprise. Students must attend to experience all of the great activities, bonding experiences and reflection opportunities that CD has to offer.