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My Sophomore Retreat Experience

Nikki Baron, Crown Staff

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On January 16th, a group of 31 sophomores set out to the nation’s capitol to stand up for pro-life. This retreat offered students the chance to tour Washington D.C. and learn about pro-life as an alternative to a day retreat. My experience on this trip changed my views on this movement, made me stronger in faith, and gave me the chance to become closer to my classmates.

The bus ride was filled with movies, talking, games, food, and lots of sleeping. Wednesday morning, Father Doyle announced that we were pulling into D.C as we awoke. After a 13 hour bus ride, everyone was ecstatic to begin our adventures in Washington.  We began the day with a self guided tour of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. This Basilica is the largest Catholic church in North America, and the eighth largest in the world. On the main level, there were large pillars that were filled with names, and the main level had many small, beautiful chapels, each one for a different saint. Upstairs, there was a church that was surrounded by more chapels, one of which Father Doyle gave mass in for the group.

A great part about this retreat is that we were able to choose which museums and monuments we wanted to tour. Since there was so much to see, we all split into smaller groups to go view the city. We had the choice to go to the Botanical Gardens, Museum of Natural History, the Air and Space Museum, or Father Doyle’s walking tour around the National Ball. My friends and I decided to go to the Air and Space Museum where we toured the fascinating exhibits. Once we were finished there, we stopped for dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe, and ended the day with the Franklin D. Roosevelt, Martin Luther King, and Jefferson Memorials.

When we woke up on Thursday morning, we sadly were told that it would be our last day in D.C. because of the heavy snowstorm that was on its way. Still wanting to make the best of the day, we went to Capitol Hill where we saw the Library of Congress, U.S. Capitol, and the U.S. Supreme Court. Afterwards, we split up into groups again. We had the choice between going on another one of Father Doyle’s walking tours or going to the National History Museum. Regardless of our choice, we all got to see the Washington, Vietnam, and Lincoln memorials. We got to finish the day off with an amazing meal at Maggiano’s that everyone appreciated!

Although we were not able to attend the March because of the unfortunate circumstances, Father Doyle talked to us extensively about the pro-life movement. After all the excitement of touring national monuments, capitols, and museums; spending time with my friends and making great new ones, along with seeing beautiful churches and shrines, I remembered the true reason we were on this retreat. We traveled all this way to support a cause and give a voice to the voiceless. This trip made me want to be more active in this movement, and I’m glad I had the chance to be apart of it.

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