Brock Lutz and stu­dents on a pre­vious fall break retreat
Courtesy | Brock Lutz

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.”