Walking a Labyrinth

By Diana Hernandez

November 13, 2013

Several departments including the Rosary College of Arts and Sciences, Theology and Pastoral Ministry and the University Ministry worked in collaboration to collect funds and assist the entire Dominican community with a labyrinth.

Back in May, several faculty members attended the ‘Contemplating Life’s Callings’ retreat held at the Sinsinawa Mound in Sinsinawa, Wis., motherhouse of the Dominican sisters. On the retreat, many had the chance to experience walking through the labyrinth. The thoughtful experience of walking the labyrinth inspired them to consider providing one for the Dominican community.

“They saw its value in helping the members of the entire Dominican community in their life and their reflective life,” Ann Hillman, retreats and community outreach coordinator for University Ministry, said.

The labyrinth is a spiritual tool used for prayer, meditation or self-reflection because you walk in and out of the labyrinth on only one path. Labyrinths mirror mazes as they only have one way in and out. Indoor labyrinths, or potable labyrinths, are commonly made on large canvases, whereas outdoor labyrinths are made of stone and cement.

The labyrinth will be located in the first floor of the Rebecca Crown Library near the outside patio and welcomes to anyone who would like to experience it for themselves.

“We’re hoping all students use it,” said Hillman.

“Whether done individually or with a group, the labyrinth provides us with a chance to quiet ourselves and mindfully delve into our innermost thoughts,” Chad Rohman, English professor, said.

Senior Miguel A. Ortiz enjoyed his experience walking on the labyrinth at the Sinsinawa Mound and would like to do it again on campus.

“It is a way of prayer that has been used in many different religions and is a circular diagram that almost resembles a maze but is different in that there is only one path in a labyrinth and the purpose is not to trap and puzzle you,” Ortiz explained.

“It can be a powerfully personal and spiritual experience, one that is open to all,” Rohman added. “It can be transformative. I encourage the Dominican community to learn more about it and to experience it themselves.”

A labyrinth is supposed to mirror one’s own journey by walking on only one path. Many begin walking the labyrinth with a specific question or thought in their mind and are called to an answer by the time they have walked around the entire labyrinth.

“I didn’t think I was going to get anything out of it,” sophomore Erin Winkeler said. “You realize it’s only one path; a place to get away and think to yourself.”

“It really helped me think about where I was going next and what path I really wanted to be on,” Ortiz said.