Boiler Awakening

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Boiler Awakening is a prayerful and peaceful retreat experience like none other, bringing you closer to Christ, your faith goals and the Purdue Catholic Students community. BA is a 3-day, 2-night event starting on Friday evening and continuing through 7pm Sunday Mass. Boiler Awakening 20 will take place March 27-29, 2020. The retreat is hosted at Lafayette Central Catholic, just across the river from Purdue. Please reach out to if you have any questions.

Boiler Awakening is a student-led, Catholic awakening retreat welcoming of all undergraduate and graduate students seeking to strengthen their relationship with Christ. Our student leaders strive to contribute their gifts and talents to empower participants in perpetually owning their faith and creating a life-long passion for involvement in the faith community. The weekend includes a variety of talks, activities and reflection designed to allow each retreatant to be “awakened” to the Holy Spirit within them. The retreat concludes on Sunday with the “source and summit” of our Catholic faith, the celebration of the Mass. BA is a truly heartwarming weekend that leaves us with a strong, but loving reminder of God’s presence in our lives.

This retreat is held twice a year – once each in the Fall and Spring. A link for online registration for the Fall 2019 retreat will be made available on this page on Monday, September 9th at 9pm. Register early as registration fills up quickly and there will not be space for everyone who completes this first step of registration to go on the retreat. There is a small cost of $45 to participate in Boiler Awakening. This fee covers lodging, 7 great meals, and an entire weekend of fun and reflection. If you need financial assistance, don’t hesitate to e-mail No student should miss out on Awakening due to financial strain.

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Other Awakening Retreates

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Meet our Boiler Awakening Coordinator and Rector!


Philip Blankenberger

Coordinator |

Major: Mechanical Engineering Technology

Minor: Film and Video Studies, Management

How I got involved at St. Tom’s: Though I went to mass at St. Toms from the start of school, the Boiler Awakening Retreat 13 in the fall of my Freshman year was one of my first in-depth experiences with St. Toms.

Favorite Bible Verse: John 11: 35 “Jesus wept.” It is short and precise. I personally struggle to have emotions and can forget their value, but the fact that even Jesus had emotions reminds me to try and react to them when the time calls.

Fun Fact: I have sailed around the globe in a ship and been to mass (+ confession) in 4 of the 7 continents. Antarctica is on my bucket list hopefully soon.

Bio: Who is Philip? I’m not even sure I know the answer to that all the time, but I’m a senior that actually loves school and is going to miss it all once I graduate in May. Probably the most definitive fact about me would be that I am from a family of 8 kids. This really shaped my personality and ability to work with others simply because if I didn’t, I’d go to the corner. Though I grew up only in Southern Indiana (Evansville) I’ve made it to almost every state in the US (48 0f the 50). I love to learn, figure things out, problem solve, and race. Yes, that’s why I am an engineer. Photography and videography are my largest passions along with driving things. I am the driver for PCS Racing (St. Tom’s team). But outside of that, I aspire to be an entrepreneur and start my own outdoor gear business. I’ll also be getting married in May as well to my darling fiancé Samantha, so 2020 is going to be one busy year for me! I love to help out, so if you ever need some help, don’t hesitate to ask!


Cassie Brown

Rector |

Major: Marketing and Management

Minor: Communication

How I got involved at St. Tom’s: My freshman year I was involved in an Ignite bible study group with people who pushed me to become more active in my faith and even try this thing they called Boiler Awakening. Going on Boiler Awakening 15 as a sophomore was the exact encounter with Christ I needed to ignite my passion for my faith. I was an Ignite leader for two years, studying scripture with members of the Greek community. This will be my 6th Boiler Awakening retreat, having served as a Small Group Staff Head on BA 18 and a Hospitality Staff Head on BA 19. I have found that my joy comes from serving others and giving members of the St. Tom’s community the opportunity to encounter Christ!

Favorite Bible Verse: “Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, [love] is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Fun Fact:  I have two retired racing greyhounds named Cresh and HotRod.

Bio: I am from Goshen, Indiana, which is about 30 minutes away from the University of Notre Dame. I have two loving parents, a younger sister, two dogs and a cat who rules the house. In my free time, I enjoy reading Jane Austen novels, solving problems, meeting new people and attending Purdue sporting events. When I am not at Purdue, my favorite pastimes are kayaking around the lake by my house and going to Target with my sister. I am a member of Alpha Gamma Delta and have been blessed to be able to share my faith with many of my sorority sisters. After graduation, I will be moving to the suburbs of Chicago to work for Otis Elevator Company. Being involved at St. Tom’s has shown me love, prayer and selfless devotion to Christ that has made my faith so much stronger. Going to Wednesday night Mass with my friends is one of the highlights of my week and I love getting to meet so many new and wonderful Boiler Catholics! My favorite type of prayer is the Rosary and my confirmation saint is St. Rose of Lima. I feel very blessed to serve as the Rector of BA 20!