By: Regina Wright ~Staff Writer~
Xavier’s Interfaith Community Engagement held its annual Interfaith Retreat. The retreat started on the evening of Nov. 14 and lasted until Nov. 15.
The Interfaith Retreat was held at the Jesuit Spiritual Center in Milford, Ohio.
The purpose of the retreat is for students from different backgrounds to come together and learn from each other about their own religious diversity.
“Overall, it is a really great opportunity for students to get away and to rejuvenate and refresh in the midst of the craziness of November during the fall semester,” Stephanie Renny, program assistant for the Center for Interfaith Community Engagement said. “It’s also an opportunity for students from different backgrounds to come together and have an experience together where they can learn and grow personally and spiritually.”
Students had the opportunity to observe Shabbat and practice other religious ceremonies.
A tradition during the retreat is for students to come together and make dinner.
“We really found a way for everyone to be part of that preparation,” Renny said. The Shabbat dinner was held on Nov. 14. Students learned how to make Matzah ball soup and how to drop them into broth. They also enjoyed roasted chicken, Kasha and vegetables.
Before dinner, the women lit candles and prayed and then revealed the bread. Students learned that the bread is always covered until it is broke. The Interfaith Community Engagement started the Interfaith Retreat in 2009.
“This year, the Jesuit Spiritual Center accommodated us very well,” Renny said. “We had a nice space with a nice kitchen and a fireplace and they also helped us to have a bonfire outside after dinner and all the students got to have their own rooms.”
During the retreat Renny led a guided meditation, and Executive Director of the Center for Interfaith Community Engagement Rabbi Abie Ingber held an outdoor reflection.
“To see nature and the trees and leaves falling made me at peace, it made me blessed to be part of this opportunity and really happy to be able to come,” senior Binta Diallo said.
There was also story-telling during which students shared who they are, where they are from and their relationship with God.
“I really encourage students to take advantage of these opportunities, to step away from the chaos and listen to God and to refresh and rejuvenate,” Renny said.