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Connect is a retreat that started in 1999 at St. Mary's Catholic Center to welcome incoming freshman and transfer students enrolled at Texas A&M University and Blinn College . Our goal for Connect is to empower new students at Texas A&M and Blinn College to take hold of their faith as Catholic adults and live that faith out in order to transform the Church and the world for Christ. This includes building relationships and having an all-around good time. We would love to have the chance to let new students know about the exciting things going on at St. Mary's and encourage them to maintain a relationship with God and make the Sacraments a priority throughout college.
The main reason you should attend Connect is to build on your base of faith so that you can transition into college with a solid community like St. Mary's that will help you to take full advantage of the graces each sacrament provides. Also, Connect provides you with the best opportunity to meet fellow Catholics and introduce you to all of the amazing ministries that St. Mary's has to offer. There are over 80 student organizations at St. Mary's alone and all will be represented.
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When is the retreat?
Connect 1: July 27-28
Connect 2: August 21-22
Grad Connect: September 1
The July and August retreats will begin at 9:00 AM on the first day and will end after a Mass and dinner around 9 PM.
Grad Connect will start with check-in at 11:30 AM, and will end after 5:30 PM Mass (but everyone is invited to dinner afterwards!)
What will we be doing?
The weekend will consist of a few talks given by current St. Mary's students, small group sharing, personal prayer time, large group socializing, various fun activities, and praise & worship.
What do I need to bring?
Just come with an open mind and anything that you might want for personal prayer (Bible, rosary, etc.).
Am I going to be sleeping at St. Mary's each night?
Sleeping arrangements will not be available at St. Mary’s. You will go to your home or dorm to sleep and return to the retreat the next day. At the end of each night, transportation will be provided back to campus dorms. If you are attending Session 1, you will be housed with current students who are staffing the retreat. This most likely means that you will be sleeping on a couch or on the floor, so please pack accordingly.
Do I have to stay the entire time?
It is recommended that you attend the entire retreat because it will be AWESOME! However, if there are conflicts, you may leave by letting the coordinators know when you arrive.
Will I be pressured into doing something I'm not comfortable doing?
Definitely not! Only do what you are comfortable with and if you do not want to do something, no questions will be asked. There are many chances for retreaters to choose what they will be doing throughout the retreat, which allows you to have more freedom with your activities.
Do only Catholics go on this retreat?
No —- Connect is open to anyone who may be interested in spending the weekend hanging out with other new students & current students, talking about our faith, eating lots of food, laughing hysterically, and anything else that comes up! So bring your friends!
Will we be going to Mass?
Yes —- on the first day and on the second day.
What if I can't complete all the information on the application just yet? (e.g. Dorm I'm living in)
Fill out as much as you can & either send us the rest when you get it or tell us at the retreat.