Silent retreat emphasizes examination of conscience, spiritual healing


The buzzing of the light bulb, clinking of the heater and the swirling of the ceiling fan were some of the only sounds 28 Franciscan University students heard on a silent retreat over the weekend of Feb. 27- March 1.

These students spent more than 48 hours in silence praying, reflecting and listening to talks by the Rev. Steven Borello of Joliet, Illinois, on examination of conscience.

The retreat was structured around personal prayer time in adoration as well as talks given by Borello. The main focus of the retreat was growing in Christ through examination of conscience over the course of the weekend.

“A silent retreat is very different than the various retreats Franciscan offers students each semester; it is unique,” said Ashley Wesolowski, retreat leader. “I wanted there to be an opportunity for students to briefly leave their hectic schedules of studying for midterms to be able to encounter the Lord in an intimate way this Lent.”

Part of growing closer to Christ in this retreat was personal healing. The talks given by Borello were offered as steps to begin healing as well as to portray an outline on how spiritual healing should take place through examination of conscience.

“I think for the first time ever doing this, the retreat was a huge success,” Wesolowski said. “I received overwhelmingly positive feedback from the students and the retreat master. Everything ran smoothly and there was a lot of spiritual healing and time for well-needed prayer.”

Though this is the first time the retreat was offered, Wesolowski hopes it can continue as long as “we … find new student leadership to take on the task of planning and organizing the retreat since I am graduating.”

She continued, “The atmosphere of a silent retreat is so drastically different than the loud busyness we are used to in our daily lives — it can serve as a good reminder of the immense importance of silence in our lives and how it is an invitation to deepen our relationship with the Lord.”

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