Warm Weather and Preparing for SBIP

Hi everyone! Hope you all enjoyed Valentine’s Day and are off to a reflective season of Lent. These past two weeks have been busy academically, but I found time to go for a hike when it was warm and prepared to go on Spring Break Immersion!

One of my favorite parts about Holy Cross is the variety of volunteer opportunities. One of the biggest volunteer programs is the Spring Break Immersion Program (SBIP) where students travel to different areas around the country and immerse themselves in a new community. While we are there, we get to know a new group of people and perform some volunteer work, like painting, cleaning, landscaping, etc. I’ve never been on a trip like this before, so I am really excited!

My group has about nine students, including a senior leader. On the application, there is a spot to declare who you know who is going on SBIP–so they don’t put you in a group with people you already know! It is a great opportunity to meet new people, especially upperclassmen, who I might not have met otherwise. We have already had a couple meetings to go over planning for the trip, and I am excited to get to know each member of my group better!

Although I’ve been pretty busy doing work the past couple weeks, I found some time this week to enjoy the unseasonably warm weather and go on a hike with my friends! It was my first hike and I am already looking forward to going back in the spring.

My friends and I on a hike (taken by my friend Emma!)

That’s all I have for now–check back in soon to hear about Spring Break Immersion!

Montserrat Event: Ignatian Yoga at the Joyce Contemplative Center!

Hi everyone! Hope you all enjoyed the Super Bowl and this less-than-snowy February (I am not complaining!). This week I want to profile my one of my Montserrat extracurricular events–Ignatian yoga with Bobby Karle SJ!

As I’ve mentioned before, Holy Cross has a yearlong seminar course called Montserrat, which is regularly scheduled and has papers and reading like any other class (in fact, it might be my most challenging class). My Montserrat is philosophy based and my professor is a Jesuit, but there are Montserrat classes in nearly every discipline! We participate in discussion every week and really get to know each other and our professor, because we spend all year in the same class.

Montserrat is organized in six clusters (mine is Contemporary Challenges), each focused on a different theme. Members of clusters are housed together during the first year, so Montserrat becomes a living and learning experience. In addition to regular class, Montserrat includes special events, like attending talks from visitors to campus, viewing relevant films, and trying new activities.

My friend Anne and I practicing yoga at the Joyce Contemplative Center on the Escape Retreat earlier this year.

Our January special event was a visit to the brand new (opened in 2015!) Joyce Contemplative Center, where we were introduced to Ignatian yoga, led by a friend of my professor, Bobby Karle SJ. We learned a bit about Ignatian spirituality in general, got to know each other a little better, and practiced yoga and meditation. Although Ignatian spirituality is rooted in Catholic thought–after all, it is based on the life and teachings of St. Ignatius of Loyola–I found the meditation very neutral, and many of my non-Catholic friends said they were able to find peace and calm during the yoga and meditation.

It was a nice opportunity to get away for an evening and eat a delicious dinner at the Contemplative Center (it is well known on campus for its homecooked meals) and see our classmates outside of class and our residence hall. Overall it was a great experience, and I cannot wait until my next opportunity to visit the retreat center!

The chapel at the Joyce Contemplative Center (from http://www.telegram.com/storyimage/WT/20161031/NEWS/161039833/AR/0/AR-161039833.jpg)

Thanks for reading my profile on Montserrat and Ignatian Yoga. Check in next time for more updates from the Hill!