The Newman University Troubadours have made annual trips to visit Ruma, Illinois, since 2010. While there, they sing to the Sisters of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ (ASC) and get to know them.
This year’s trip took place Oct. 17-20. As an overnight stop, the group stayed in Kansas City, Missouri, where they had an adventure at a mall, enjoyed a nice dinner out and watched a production of “Dear Evan Hansen” at Music Hall.
Friday morning, they traveled the rest of the way to Ruma, where they stayed with the ASC sisters, performing a concert for them on Saturday and singing some songs for Sunday morning prayer.
Students agreed that the trip was a time of relaxation, bonding and learning all about the sisters and their stories.
Sophomore Allison Williams articulated the tranquility of the trip, proclaiming, “It was the best way I could have spent my fall break. It was absolutely amazing. Just the peace that exists out there and the serenity of the land that’s around it, and the attitude at the convent. It’s such a nice, quiet place where you can reflect on everything.”
Deanne Zogleman, director of music, also shared her perspective.
“It is an absolute joy to watch these young adults fellowship and spend the weekend with these wonderful sisters. This place is one of the most peaceful places on this Earth and (the visit is) a time for rejuvenation. Many of the sisters tell me that it breathes life into them, but it does the same thing for us.”
Everyone truly appreciated how welcoming the Sisters were throughout the trip and how wonderful it was to talk with all of them.
“The main reason why we go there,” senior Martina Viale began, “is to sing to the sisters. It means a lot because we are giving back to the people that created this school. Just the idea that we can make them happy, that means that we bring them something, and I think that’s most important.”
Junior Clare Morgan explained that “Ruma is about letting go of all of the distractions, pressures and responsibilities of our busy lives, being present with each other and with the amazing women who love us and our university so dearly.”
Beyond the activities, the peaceful setting and the enlightening discussions with the sisters, the Troubadours also thought about the importance of music on the trip.
Viale mentioned the universality of music, and how vital it is for any and every person.
“Music is in everybody’s life. Wherever you go, music is there. It’s just so important because sometimes if you don’t have another outlet to express your emotions, you can express them through music or you can have someone else sing them to you. When you sing to somebody, it can make a difference — it can make them happier.”
Morgan agreed with this thought of expression through music, saying “Music is a way for people to communicate what you can’t say in words or actions or any other way except music. It’s a whole other language.”
Overall, the Troubadours loved the time together and found it to be of great importance. There was a mutual expression of desire for more opportunities such as this one. Williams, and many others, were changed by this experience.
“I feel like I came back from this small vacation a better person. I feel like I came back with a better understanding of who I am.”