Over the past weekend student prefect Jon Dickman (’13), Activities Director Andrew Rossi (’13), Admissions Director Jon Daly, and Chaplain Rev. Joseph Illo led a men’s campout and retreat of some 40 Thomas Aquinas College students.
The men traveled to Pine Mountain in the Los Padres National Forest, about a 90-minute drive from campus, where they enjoyed spectacular views of Lockwood Valley and the Pacific Ocean, with the Channel Islands in the distance. After setting up camp, they went for a hike to Reyes Peak, followed by evening prayer. The group then set out to find — successfully! — the altar and cross that they had erected at the previous year’s campout, where they would hold the next morning’s Mass. For dinner they enjoyed a meal of “Frito pie,” after which Fr. Illo led a discussion about the challenges of being a faithful Christian man in today’s culture.
The men went to bed around midnight, sleeping under the stars. The next morning Fr. Illo offered a sunrise Mass, after which the campers enjoyed a breakfast of pancakes, sausages, and “cowboy coffee” before making the trip back to the College.
“The campout was a great time for the guys — from all different classes — to get to know each other, as well as Fr. Illo, who just joined us and is a wonderful addition to this community,” said Mr. Daly. “The time away afforded them a chance to grow together while discerning God’s will in their lives and experiencing of the beauty of God’s creation.”
Posted: September 18, 2012