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This window is a icon of the Matins hour of prayer, the wise virgins from Scripture representing our waiting in prayer before the Lord Jesus.

Greetings,

Pray for us during our time of retreat; we shall keep you in our prayers.
This week many of our sisters are gathered at the monastery for retreat.  The sister who coordinates our on-going formation sets a week for retreat that accommodates most of our sisters’ varying schedules due to their ministry and service in different works of the Church. Those who cannot attend this retreat are called to set aside another time and can retreat privately with a director, attend a retreat some where else, or retreat with a series of talks or spiritual book.

This year Sister Kathleeen Atkinson, OSB from Annunciation Monastery will be our retreat director.  Her conferences will focus on how “our experience of prayer, community, conversion, obedience and hospitality nourishes us and challenges us to live in this time and place” (Sr. Kathleen). All of this with be viewed through reflection on Scripture, The Rule of Benedict, and other spiritual writers.

Listen I (General Norms of our Federation) recognizes that “Benedictine formation is a lifelong process of daily conversion within a dynamic, monastic faith community.  The entire community is responsible, under the direction of the prioress, for the ongoing formation of all sisters.  The monastery fulfills this responsibility when it provides the environment for the sisters to share their life together in faith and to continue their own daily effort toward growth in Christ” (G111).

Listen II (Specific Norms of our Federation) reminds the prioress that “the Monastery Norms specifies the ways a monastery provides for the continuing spiritual development of its sisters, such as community renewal, annual retreats, days of recollection and other opportunities” (S129).

Our Listen III or Monastery Norms (specific to our monastic guidance) take all this into account and very simply states a list of items to support this continuing formation including “annual retreats” (M111.g).  Simple…However, this yearly week of retreat is so important within our monastic life that it is even written into our contracts so we that may set at least a week aside for personal and private prayer, reflection, and community.

Retreat allows for a deepening of relationship with God in the silence of our day, broken only by Sister’s conferences and our prayer, and through our personal prayer which supports our times of Liturgy of the Hours.  All this additional time in prayer reminds us to follow Saint Benedict’s injunction on the oratory:

“Let the oratory be what is is called, a place of prayer; and let nothing else be done there or kept there.  When the Work of God is ended, let all go out in perfect silence, and let reverence for God be observed, so that any sister who may wish to pray privately will not be hindered by another’s misconduct.  And that other times also, if anyone should want to pray by herself, let her go in simply and pray, not in a loud voice but with tears and fervor of heart.  She who does not say her prayers in this way, therefore, shall not be permitted to remain in the oratory when the Work of God is ended, lest another be hindered, as we have said” (Rule of Benedict 52).

Retreat Week Schedule (June 24–30) for Liturgy of the Hours and Mass

6:30 AM ~ Lauds
6:50 AM ~ Mass
5:15 PM ~ Vespers
(There will not be Wednesday Vespers, instead the sisters will have a private Penance and Reconciliation service.)
Blessings to you,
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