The “Crossroads” retreat here at Georgetown was born out of a desire to make Ignatian discernment principles accessible to undergraduate students facing career, vocation and life choices. This overnight retreat offered students the ability to escape from the pressures of academics and extracurricular activities to the Calcagnini Contemplative Center in the Blue Ridge Mountains to enjoy a twenty four hour period of contemplation.

The retreat allows students to reflect on questions dealing with three key questions: What brings you joy? What are you good at? How can you bring these to fruition in the world? The first question requires attentiveness to what brings one authentic ‘joy’, rather than fleeting happiness. The second question necessitates a reflective disposition, for how else can one discern his or her talents? This reflectiveness can be more than just on the personal level, but also can and should involve mentors – professors, parents, family, friends, priests, or chaplains – to offer realistic guidance. The final question deals with putting our joys and talents into practice in the world, and this requires a loving heart. If one does not act with an authentic sense of ‘caritas,’ he or she can not work towards the common good.

While the retreat focuses on offering suggestions on how one can best discern in the Ignatian imagination and guiding the retreatants in the midst of their individual discernments, the retreat also offered time for fellowship, so that true bonds of friendship can be forged. Activities, games, and free time allowed the retreatants to interact with one another in such a way that this fellowship could flourish.

Christopher Cannataro (new window), MSB ’15