Students are invited to spend their fall break on a spiritual retreat in suburban Detroit with College Chaplain Rev. Adam Rick and Director of Health Services Brock Lutz.
The retreat will take place at St. Augustine’s House, a Lutheran monastery in Oxford, Michigan. Students will have time for rest and prayer.
Students will depart from Hillsdale with Rick and Lutz in the afternoon of Wednesday, Oct. 20, and will return in the morning on Saturday, Oct. 23, according to Rick. There is no cost to the retreat, but Rick said he encourages a free-will donation of about $40 to cover lodging and food. Interested students can email Lutz or Rick to reserve their spot.
The monks at St. Augustine’s House follow the rule of St. Benedict, according to Rick. This means they have regular prayer services at set hours of each day. Students will participate in these services, but are free to spend the rest of their time how they want.
“There’s always plenty of time for conversation with the other people that are there and the monks are often happy to have conversations,” Rick said.
Rick said students are also welcome to walk the grounds, help the monks garden and cook, read, pray, and partake in other restful activities.
“We try to discourage homework,” Rick said. “We don’t police it, but I think you get more out of it if you don’t do it.”
Lutz said he and Rick started taking students on this retreat five years ago.
“It is such a great place to go, especially right in the middle of the busyness of this semester, in order to just reset things and re-evaluate and again just get good time to reflect and spend time with God,” Lutz said.
Lutz said he has been visiting the St. Augustine House for eight years, and has seen it influence his life and students’ lives in significant ways.
“There are lots of ways that people take the experience and say, ‘what can I pull out of this so that I can apply it to my daily life?’ If they don’t do that, then it’s not meeting the purpose it should,” Lutz said. “We live most of our lives on this side of the monastery so it’s important to know how we can bring a bit of the monastery here.”
Senior Shelby Tone has participated in the retreat twice and will again this year.
“I enjoyed the unspoken unity and community that permeated the monastery,” Tone said. “The retreat is an excellent occasion to slow down, rest, and re-center your life after a hectic, intense midterms season.”
Rick said he has seen many Hillsdale students undervalue the need to rest.
“Sometimes students find it difficult to imagine taking that much time off doing homework, but they never seem to regret it,” Rick said. “Don’t let the need to do good work discourage you. Sabbath rest is our responsibility to our responsibilities.”