Boiler Awakening

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Boiler Awakening is a retreat experience like none other, bringing you closer to Christ, your faith goals and the St. Thomas Aquinas community. Boiler Awakening is a 3-day event starting on Friday evening and continuing until Sunday morning. Boiler Awakening 18 will take place March 22-24, 2018. The retreat is hosted at Lafayette Central Catholic, just across the river from Purdue, and is an overnight prayerful and peace filled retreat experience (over Friday and Saturday night). Boiler Awakening is a great opportunity for new students to grad students alike and is truly a heartwarming weekend that brings such a strong but loving reminder of God’s presence in our life. Please reach out to if you have any questions, retreat applications will open on January 28th at 9 pm.

Boiler Awakening is a student-led, Catholic awakening retreat welcoming of college students seeking to strengthen their relationship with Christ. We strive to contribute our gifts and talents and to empower student leaders in order to assist participants in perpetually owning their faith and enflaming a life-long passion for involvement in the faith community.

Boiler Awakening is designed for all college-age students (undergraduate and graduate) from Purdue University and the surrounding area. The retreat begins Friday afternoon, at St. Tom’s and concludes Sunday afternoon. Boiler Awakening is held at Central Catholic High School in Lafayette. The weekend includes a variety of talks, activities and reflection designed to allow each retreater to be “awakened” to the Holy Spirit within him or her. The retreat concludes Sunday with the “source and summit” of our Catholic faith, the celebration of the Mass.

This retreat is held twice a year – once each in the Fall and Spring. There will be an “Application” week each semester. A link for online applications will be made available on this page. There is a small cost of $45 to participate in Boiler Awakening. This fee covers lodging, great meals, and an entire weekend of fun. 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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Meet our Boiler Awakening Coordinator and Rector!


Oliver Schroeder

Coordinator |

Major: Industrial Engineering

How I got involved at St. Tom’s: I first got involved at St. Tom’s Through Purdue Catholic Men and Sunday Night Dinner.

Favorite Bible Verse: “Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and they asked Peter and the other apostles, “What are we to do, my brothers?” Peter [said] to them, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Acts 2: 37-38

Fun Fact: One of my hobbies is rock climbing.

Bio: I am from Columbus, Ohio and lived there most of my life until coming to Purdue. Going up one of four children, I am always ready to socialize and meet new people. My Freshman year I was in the EPICS program and worked on a project focused on Air Quality in western Kenya. At St. Tom’s I was the co-chair of the New Student Overnighter and led PCM for 3 years. My goal in life is to become a Saint by responding to the Lord’s daily call to holiness. I am excited to lead Boiler Awakening as the coordinator!


Madi Scheessele

Rector |

Major: Industrial Engineering, Minor: Spanish for the Professions

How I got involved at St. Tom’s: My freshman year I was part of an Ignite bible study and went on NSO, where, little did I know, I met a few people who would end up being very close friends and important members of my faith journey later in college. The last two years I was a leader of PCS Socials and I served as BA Kitchen Staff Head and Hospitality Staff Head for BA 17 and 18, respectively. Through Socials and BA, I’ve learned that prayer through serving others is my thing!

Favorite Bible Verse: “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6

Fun Fact: I have exchanged more than 450 postcards with people in 48 different countries.

Bio: I am from a suburb of Detroit, Michigan, where I was a synchronized figure skater my whole youth, so I love teamwork and meeting all kinds of new people. Back home, I have one younger brother and a best friend who is like the sister I never had. My favorite pastime is laughing and travelling with them. I went to Catholic school my whole life before attending Purdue, but my faith has grown much stronger through college and being involved at St. Tom’s. When I’m not studying, I enjoy cooking vegetarian food, making Spotify playlists, laughing uncontrollably with my roommates, and adventuring with friends. When I am not at Purdue, I love kayaking and biking around Marco Island, Florida with my family. My favorite types of prayer are Eucharistic Adoration and listening to Christian music, so if you need an adoration buddy or music recommendations, I’d be happy to help! I feel very blessed to serve Boiler Awakening 19 as Rector!