Awakening Retreat to Return in February


Photo courtesy of Daniel O'Regan, Campus Ministry

The spring 2017 Awakening Retreat members take part in a once-in-a-lifetime adventure.

For the first time in two years, the Awakening retreat hosted by Campus Ministry is back, and spots are filling up quickly.

“I am really excited. I am excited for students to get a glimpse of what Chaminade life was before Covid, some sense of normalcy,” said Maimoa Finesaloi, a staff member helping the student staff coordinate the trip. “We had to cancel last year’s due to Covid, but I think students are ready to meet people on a deep connection, beyond the small talk and surface-level conversations. I think students are ready for a break away from campus. Plus, the retreat center is beautiful.”

Awakening is a student-led retreat program that invites current undergraduate students to build community and learn about each other on a deeper level. The retreat will be held at Saint Stephen Diocesan Center off the Pali highway and is scheduled for the last weekend of February. Students who are attending will leave campus on the afternoon of Friday, Feb. 25 and return to campus Feb. 27 at 2:30 p.m.

Campus Ministry encourages students to sign up quickly because there was a maximum of 40 slots available this year. So far, 37 people have signed up, Finesaloi said. Registration is still open until Dec. 10, though just three spots remain.

“We want to make sure that we have enough beds for everyone,” Finesaloi said. “This year we are capping it at 40 students, but you can join the waitlist because people always drop out, so you should apply anyways.”

Since the fall semester started in August, a staff of 12 students has been planning to make this retreat special for their peers. The student-led and staff-assisted retreat will be compiled of small and large group conversations coupled with planned talks of personal testimonials followed by discussion questions aimed to make friends and find a community at Chaminade, there will also be time for social activities. In the past attendees have enjoyed hanging out, playing board game and ukulele jam sessions.

“A highlight from years past retreats would be having students finding a sense of community, home and family,” Finesaloi said. “I think if students can find their home away from home, I think it makes it easier to go thought the transitions of college life making them more willing to experience all that college and Chaminade have to offer them because they feel like they belong. And having that sense of community [can] be brought back to campus.”

While Chaminade is a small school, like any place it can be hard to find your niche group of friends that make this campus feel like home.

“I have been wanting to go on this retreat since I learned about it my freshman year,” said Trinity Danielson, a sophomore who spent her freshman year online from home in American Samoa. “It seemed like the perfect way to make friends and be more involved with Campus Ministry. In high school we had a similar retreat and I remember having so much fun and making so many new friends.”