Students at Thomas Aquinas College in Santa Paula, Calif., spent time praying over, reading and studying the works of Blessed Pope John Paul II on a retreat over the Easter Triduum, according to the College’s website.
The idea for the theme of the retreat was the inspiration of one the College’s chaplains who is from Poland and was an altar boy during Bl. Pope John Paul II’s historic visit to Poland. The College reports:
The retreat begins with a presentation on the life of Bl. John Paul II, followed by studies of the Theology of the Body and Bl. John Paul’s call for the New Evangelization, as well as a viewing of the film Nine Days that Changed the World and a seminar discussion about one of Karol Wojtyla’s plays, The Jeweler’s Shop. The retreat conferences take place between the liturgies and rites of the Holy Triduum — Mass of the Lord’s Supper, Tenebrae, Liturgy of the Lord’s Passion, and Stations of the Cross —culminating with the Easter Vigil late Saturday night. Then, in an annual College tradition, the students will celebrate the Resurrection with a party in St. Joseph Commons and a sunrise hike.
“Pope Emeritus Benedict and Pope Francis are building on what John Paul established in terms of evangelizing the modern world, and students here have a rock-solid foundation on which to build,” says Fr. Illo. “The purpose of this retreat is to encourage them to take the next step, to be evangelists in the world, to apply what they have learned to sanctifying the temporal order. That will be the takeaway from this retreat, in the words of John Paul II: Go out and build a civilization of love with what you have been given.”
Thomas Aquinas College is recommended in The Newman Guide for its strong Catholic identity.
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