SEEK 2021: February 4-7, 2021, students across the country, in their living rooms, campus centers and parishes gathered for a four-day live broadcast event encountering the heart of the Gospel. Ashland student, McKenna Woodruff shares her reflections on the weekend.
“A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to attend the SEEK 2021 conference virtually at our Newman Center on campus. Although I had been a practicing Catholic all my life, I had really just started getting truly involved and diving deeper into my faith at the start of the fall semester. I had never been to a catholic conference or large event before, so I was unsure of what to expect. Though things looked a little different this year because of COVID 19 protocols, the impact the conference left on me was powerful.
Overall, the SEEK conference was an amazing, life changing experience. Along with growing in my faith, I was also able to connect with other students on campus ….Ashland student McKenna Woodruff
To bring the conference to us, our Newman leadership worked hard to decorate our lower chapel, plan fun events throughout the weekend, kept us laughing through game playing during downtime, and made sure we had plenty of good food to eat. Though all these things were a great added bonus, listening to speakers at the conference, participating in small group discussions, and attending adoration and mass with other students who attended the conference truly helped me to deepen and grow in my faith.
One small group impact session that truly opened my eyes was a talk given by Sarah Swafford. In her talk, Sarah talked about finding the calm in the storm which is something that I have been struggling with at times in my own life. Listening to her explain how the Lord will fight our hard battles for us and we need only to be still was very striking to me. She explained how if we are able to be still, we will find our interior silence allowing us to realize that we are not in control of our own lives and we do not need to be. In the chaos of the world, we have the peace of God. This impact session brought me to a deeper understanding of the chaos and uneasiness in my life, reminding that within the storm, I need to make time to find the silence and reconnect with the peace of God.
Another part of the conference that was touching to me was adoration on Saturday night. There is always something amazing and sensational about sitting and being the presence of our Lord, but also knowing that thousands of other catholic students around the U.S. were participating in the same adoration made the experience even more astounding.
Overall, the SEEK conference was an amazing, life changing experience. Along with growing in my faith, I was also able to connect with other students on campus who share similar backgrounds and interests making the weekend even more exciting. I am grateful for my ability to attend the conference and to have the opportunity to dive deeper into faith.”