The University of St. Thomas

The Call to Catholic Leadership: Leadership Intern Vision Retreat

Published on: Tuesday, October 13th, 2009

Posted by James, UST Senior, Philosophy and Catholic Studies
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Any student can empathize with the unique set of fears and challenges brought forth by the beginning of a new school year. Our fresh bold feelings of hope, excitement, seriousness, and anticipation our often stifled a bit by a coupling set of fears and anxieties. It is only natural and right for us to look to our leaders for guidance and support when we experience such a mixed-bag of emotions.
At the beginning of this school year, I was blessed to take a retreat with the Catholic Studies Leadership Interns. This retreat was a wonderful opportunity for me to recall to mind who I acknowledge as my ultimate leader: Jesus Christ. With a total of five seminars, a group of about thirty Catholic Studies students learned the role of Catholic leaders in the world, which is always in the light of Jesus Christ’s perfect leadership. For example, we discussed how we define Catholic leadership, the necessity of Catholic leadership, the principles of Catholic leadership, where Catholic leadership takes place, the consequences of Catholic leadership, and much more.
We also spent a fair amount of time as a community in recreation: anything from canoeing to thrilling games of ping-pong to listening to the captivating sounds of Fr.Keating and Dr. Naughton’s guitar-playing-skills. It was a great time!
Most importantly, though, we spent time together in prayer by praying the hours of the Office, having a Holy Hour with benediction, and celebrating the Holy Mass. This, we know, is the source our communion.
All-in-all, it was a great blessing to retreat with the Interns. I was reminded of the power of Christ’s love and its uniting effects. The retreat re-ignited the Catholic vision within me; and, therefore, re-emphasized true principles through which I can orient my everyday life and lead others on the path to Christ.
Indeed, at the onset of a new school year, I empathize will all those who experience fear and anxiety. However, as Christians, we must fix our eyes on Christ who alone has the ability to dispel all fear and anxiety by revealing to us our true end. I conclude with a brief passage we read at the retreat, which was particularly inspiring to me. It was taken from a message given to the youth of America in May of 2008 by Pope Benedict XVI: “At times, however, we are tempted to close in on ourselves, to doubt the strength of Christ’s radiance, to limit the horizon of hope. Take courage!…Let your imaginations soar freely along the limitless expanse of the horizons of Christian discipleship.”

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