Every semester Campus Ministry hosts a retreat called Carpe Diem. Though many of Mercyhurst’s traditions have been changed to accommodate social distancing guidelines, those who attended the retreat were still able to meet in person.
Themes of conversations, acceptance, vulnerability, and love were discussed during the retreat and students can carry what they learned into their everyday life on campus.
The retreat was surely a successful one as it brought students from all areas of campus together. Spending time with people even socially distanced is better than no interaction at all. It was a time to come together as a community and appreciate life’s bounties.
Carpe Diem is traditionally led by ten students who spend months planning for the event. Anyone who has attended a Carpe Diem retreat is eligible to apply, though preference is often given to upperclassmen.
This year’s leaders began meeting in January, first in person and then virtually when the campus went online. During this time they reimagined how the retreat could be held to ensure the health and safety of all those involved.
“As the summer was ending and we were returning to campus, it became apparent that we would not be able to hold our fall CD retreat at the usual scale of 50 attendees and 10 leaders. So when we capped attendance at 25 students, we split our 10 person student team in half, so that 5 leaders became our CD 15 leaders, and the other 5 will be leading CD 16 this coming spring,” said Campus Minister, Michelle Scully.
Scully believed that the downsized scale was helpful in creating a greater sense of community.
“I think we’ve all been pretty burnt out with Zoom calls and looking at screens in general, so the opportunity for meaningful in person conversations was really able to bring a light to the weekend,” said Scully.
This was not the last time that CD 15 attendees will be together however. Students should expect a reunion some time in November, with more details to come.
For those looking for their own opportunity to attend Carpe Diem, they can expect another retreat later this year.
“We will plan on holding CD 16 at the end of March with the same on-campus structure as this past retreat, and then we will reassess for next year.”
The group of student leaders have already begun planning. For those who cannot wait much longer, another retreat will be held by Campus Ministry from Nov. 2-9 called The Busy Person’s Retreat. Interested students can contact assistant director of Campus Ministry, Jenell Patton at jpatton@mercyhurst. edu.
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