Friday, April 4, 2008

Building faith, making friends

By Laura Andrews
Cardinal Staff

Together Encountering Christ (TEC), a three-day religious retreat, will take place this weekend at the Alverna Center on Saint Theresa’s campus in Winona.

TEC is offered twice each year, once in the fall and again in the spring. The retreat is based on the dying, rising and going forth of Jesus and may be attended by students from Saint Mary’s University, Winona State University and Saint Catherine’s University.

The weekend getaway is an opportunity for students to have fun and reconnect with God. Students of all religious backgrounds are welcome to attend, regardless of where they are in their faith journey. According to junior Ashley Kleist, anyone who is “open to what others have to say and is ready to learn and have fun” is welcome to participate.

Throughout the weekend, students may play games, listen to talks, contribute to small group discussions, and attend Mass, adoration and reconciliation. For those who choose to attend TEC, “there is no pressure to participate in all activities if you are not comfortable,” says Kleist.

Kleist attended her first TEC as a freshman and has continued to be involved with the TEC community through her participation in the planning and leading of other retreats.

“Retreats are my passion. I love just being there at the retreat with my peers, helping others grow in their faith as I continue to grow in my own,” said Kleist.

For students who wish to become a member of the TEC community, applying to be a “TECite,” (someone making the retreat) in the fall of 2008 is the first step. After attending TEC, one may then apply to help lead future retreats.

“Words can never fully describe a TEC experience,” says Kleist. “I really hope to see students give this opportunity a shot; it is simply amazing!”

No comments: