Fall 2013 Issue
CCM Newsletter

Beach Retreat: Renewed by the Waves of Change

By Grace Ahlering, Class of 2016

Each September, Catholic Campus Ministry invites members to one of its largest and most popular events: Beach Retreat. This year, about 40 students headed to North Topsail Beach, North Carolina, for a weekend of fun, prayer, friendship, and relaxation. This year's executive board named this year’s retreat theme "Renewed by the Waves of Change." Many of the activities, talks, and small group discussions focused on how God brings changes into our lives not to burden us, but to renew us.

Throughout the retreat, a few student exec members shared personal testimonies of faith experiences in an informal talk. Many students cited these talks as one of their single favorite parts of the retreat because it reminded them not only that they are not alone in big and small changes in life, but also that God is with them every step of the way.

One of the best traditions at CCM's Beach Retreat is Mass on the beach. On Saturday morning, the entire group gathered on the sand to celebrate the Eucharist. After spending the rest of Saturday afternoon having fun on the beach, we gathered together for Eucharistic adoration. This was another favorite activity among the students, as adoration allowed us to set aside a whole hour to pray and reflect quietly, away from the stress of homework and college life.

Before leaving on Sunday afternoon, each of us was randomly paired with another student to take an "Emmaus walk." We spent the last few moments on the beach with our partners talking about why we chose to come on the retreat, what we got out of it, and how we plan to carry the spirit of the retreat with us back to Elon.

It is safe to say that Beach Retreat 2013 was a successful one. New students walked away with new friends and mentors. Upperclassmen grew even closer with one another, and student exec leaders grew substantially in leadership and faith sharing. On behalf of all of the students at Elon Catholic Campus Ministry, we’d like to thank those that help make events like Beach Retreat possible each year.