BY: Jacob Flores ‘16
Church retreats can be a powerful tool to help grow one’s faith. These retreats give you a chance to get away or “retreat” from the daily demands of life. They really make you stop and examine your relationship with God. The SEEK 2013 retreat was put on by a group called FOCUS (Fellowship of Catholic University Students) at the beautiful Swan and Dolphin Disney Resort in sunny Orlando, Florida. The sheer energy of 6,000 college students who are passionate about their faith is moving by itself, but more importantly the goal of the conference was to help grow that faith even stronger.
For five days, Robert Smith ‘14, Ellen Weberg ‘14, Father Jonathan Kalisch, Father Chris Saliga, Merissa Newton, and I were able to learn from an abundance of inspirational speakers such as Matthew Kelly, Matt Fradd, Jason Evert, Pat Lencioni, and Leah Darrow. The common thread that ran through all of their talks was the theme of seeking God above all else.
Pat Lencioni’s talk connected with me the most because he spoke about the world of business–a field that I am interested in. Pat used the example of his own life where he thought achievement based goals such as having a successful career would bring him happiness. This really hit home for me because I feel like sometimes at Dartmouth we are constantly told that having a great job and making large sums of money will make us happy; but like Pat has realized, it is by fulfilling God’s plan for each of our lives that we achieve the fullest happiness. I realized that night that I really desire to more fully discover and live by God’s plan for my life first and foremost.
I am so grateful that I was able to go to SEEK 2013, and I want to spread some of the things I learned at the retreat with some of my peers here at Dartmouth.
Jacob Flores ‘16 grew up in Arlington, TX where he spent his High School Years at Grace Prep Academy. In addition to his involvement here at Aquinas House, Jacob plays center for the Dartmouth Big Green football team.