Newman Retreats

Hello, lovely readers!

This week, I bring to you something that has become somewhat of a tradition around Newman: retreats.

While I have never been on one of Newman’s retreats, several of the people around Newman have. The two people I’m going to focus on are Tristan Ritter and Colleen LaRochelle. Both are Sophomores from St. Louis. Tristan is a Non-Profit Leadership major and she minors in special education. Colleen is a Television Production major.

Last weekend (March 3-5, 2017), Newman had a retreat in Golconda, Illinois, at San Damiano Retreat Center. Tristan and Colleen both went on this retreat and I have decided to have them answer some questions about their experience.



Tristan Ritter


Tristan said “I really felt God’s mercy for the first time […] I was a little more open than I normally am and it definitely helped me feel God’s presence more.”

In response to how she interacted with the other people on the retreat, she said “we went for hikes and were able to hang out with our roommates. We were also  able to talk at meals.”

She responded to whether or not she would go back to that retreat center with: “Yes, because it was so beautiful and so easy to just get lost in God’s beautiful nature.”

I asked if there was another retreat center she would choose and she said “I haven’t been to many retreatment centers. I would like to go back to the one we were at for fall retreat because it was so beautiful.”

Tristan’s favorite thing about the retreat was getting up early to see the sunrise. She said “I loved getting up at 6:20 and seeing the sun rise over the Ohio river, it was absolutely beautiful and worth it.” (Evidence of the beauty and worthiness of getting up at 6:20 can be seen below.)



Ohio River at sunrise. Photo courtesy: Tristan Ritter



Colleen LaRochelle (left) and I before one of the Student Masses in the Fall 2016 semester.


Colleen said “What I got out of the retreat was that God’s love is everywhere. No matter where I am at physically or any stage of my life. As a busy student it is difficult to see the Lord’s presence in the cloud of being a student with homework, family commitments, and maintaining my health it can be difficult to acknowledge in the Lord and the many things he has done for me.”

Colleen had a similar response to Tristan when answering if she’d go back to San Damiano: “I would for sure. It was beautiful out there and I got to see the Lord’s beautiful creation.”

She also said “Going on many retreats previously, I would like to go back to the Dominicans in Dickson TN if I didn’t get to go back to San Damiano.”

Concerning interaction with other people on the retreat, she said “While at the retreat, everyone is a brother and sister in Christ. We got to enjoy an awesome bonfire and got to bond with my roommates.”

She also said “My favorite aspect was the retreat center itself. It was a lovely time just walking on the grounds.”

Tristan, Colleen, and other Newman people: Love you 7000 wins the game!

Until next time!

-Victoria Hosman




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