Retreats

Starting in January 2023, I have designed and led half- or full-day in-person retreats through the Shalom Prayer Center at the Queen of Angels Monastery in Mount Angel, Oregon. Upcoming retreats are listed first; scroll down for past retreats.

Upcoming on March 9, 2024: “Laetare Sunday: Come Rejoice with Us”, co-led with Nancy Hendricks. Here is the description. Please contact me if you’d like to attend.

Mid-way through the penitential season of Lent comes a bright spot of hope and joy: the 4th Sunday of Lent, Laetare Sunday.  The liturgical color of the day — rose — shines like a beacon against the unrelenting purple of Lent, a visual sign to the faithful that Easter is within our sight.

Named for the Latin word for “rejoice”, Laetare Sunday helps us remember God’s grace, mercy and unconditional love.  The day gives new energy to our traditional Lenten practices of prayer, fasting and almsgiving, and sharpens our focus on how to live in right relationship with God and others.

Yes, Christ’s suffering, crucifixion and death loom ahead of us.  But Laetare Sunday reminds us that from the tragedy of the Passion arises the reality of Christ’s Resurrection, with the assurance that we all share in that miraculous gift of eternal life and light.  With our faith thus strengthened, we can resume our Lenten observances with renewed commitment. 

Please join us for a special gathering to celebrate with words, art and music the joyful anticipation of Resurrected life.  

Upcoming on March 23, 2024: “Making Our Way with Jesus to the Cross”. Here is the description. Please let me know if you’d like to attend.

We invite you to prepare to enter Holy Week by freshly experiencing a traditional practice: following the “Way (the “Stations”) of the Cross.”  Walk, reflect and pray with Jesus as He is condemned to death, as He makes His tortured way through Jerusalem to Golgotha, as He consoles His Mother, as He encounters the kindness of Veronica and the grief of the women of Jerusalem, as He weakens, stumbles and falls, as He is crucified, dies and is buried.  Our faith tells us that death is not the end, that it is the necessary door to eternal life, that the Resurrection belongs to Jesus and to us.  Facing the reality of Jesus’s death helps deepen our belief in this mystery. 

This retreat will based on The Way of the Cross: The Path to New Life by Sister Joan Chittister with illustrations by Janet McKenzie.  All participants will receive a copy of the book. They will also have the opportunity to follow the Way using the Monastery’s own unique resources: the outdoor version (on the path to the Benedictine Cemetery) and the wall plaques designed for indoor display.  Both of these meditative art resources were reverently crafted by Sister Angela Meister.

Upcoming on April 27, 2024: “Children of War: Reflection~Prayer~Response”, co-led with May Blankenship. Here is he description. Please let me know if you’d like to attend.

Join us for an interactive experience of reflection, prayer, awareness and response about the reality of war’s impact on the children of the world.  We will open ourselves to the horror of that reality … acknowledge the helplessness that it can engender in us … but most importantly, focus on concrete steps we can take as individuals to nurture hope for the entire world.  “Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me.”

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Held on December 2, 2023: “Finding Treasure in Ancient Practices: Walking the Labyrinth and Making Mandalas”. Here is the description. Please contact me if you’d like to receive a copy of the script I presented that day. NOTE: The retreat will be held again on October 5, 2024.

What treasure do we seek in our lives, and where can it be found?

As people of faith, we seek God, the ultimate treasure.  And our faith tells us that God can always be found, anywhere and everywhere, including within ourselves. “Seek and you shall find,” the Gospel assures us.

The search can be daunting!  We often shy away from the kind of deep introspection that can lead to true self-knowledge and reveal God’s intimate presence.  But remember that the Gospel also assures us: “Do not be afraid.” 

In this retreat, you will learn about two time-honored practices known for their ability to bring us closer to God.  You will discover how to fold these meditative practices into your lives, gently and easily.  You will enjoy time spent walking the Monastery’s labyrinth (accessible alternatives available), making your own mandalas (all materials supplied) and sharing new experiences with others also seeking to find the treasure that is God. 

Held on June 24, 2023: “The Virtue of Holy Surprise — What It Means for Your Practice of Joy”. Here is the description. Please contact me if you’d like to receive a copy of the script I presented that day.

Whether or not you “like” surprises, have you ever stopped to consider their place in your spiritual life?  Since all things come from God, surprises are potential sources of holiness. Surprises can lead to a keener awareness of God’s presence, deeper self-knowledge and a greater appreciation for the world.  And if you are committed to living joyfully, cultivating “holy surprise” as a virtue can be a source of invaluable support for your practice.   

This retreat will explore the twinned natures of surprise and joy, and the power they hold to reveal God’s truth, beauty and goodness.  Through discussion, reflection, art and writing experiences, prayer, music, other activities and quiet time, participants will learn how surprise and joy can transform … everything.  2 Corinthians 5:17-18: “So whoever is in Christ is a new creation: the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come.  And all this is from God …”.

Whether or not you “like” surprises, have you ever stopped to consider their place in your spiritual life?  Since all things come from God, surprises are potential sources of holiness. Surprises can lead to a keener awareness of God’s presence, deeper self-knowledge and a greater appreciation for the world.  And if you are committed to living joyfully, cultivating “holy surprise” as a virtue can be a source of invaluable support for your practice.   

This retreat will explore the twinned natures of surprise and joy, and the power they hold to reveal God’s truth, beauty and goodness.  Through discussion, reflection, art and writing experiences, prayer, music, other activities and quiet time, participants will learn how surprise and joy can transform … everything.  2 Corinthians 5:17-18: “So whoever is in Christ is a new creation: the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come.  And all this is from God.”

Held on January 7, 2023: “Enter the New Year with Joy”. Here is the description. Please let me know if you’d like to receive a copy of the script I presented that day.

So many challenges exist in our individual and personal circumstances, and within our families, our communities, our state, our country, our world.

How can women and men of faith enter 2023 with joy and thus know God’s presence?

How can we empower ourselves to live with joy?  

How can we “rejoice always”, as St. Paul urges?

Is it even right and correct to live joyfully, given the “signs of the times” that we face?

This retreat is designed to help answer these questions, and more.  Through discussion, reflection, art and writing experiences, prayer, music, other activities and quiet time, participants will learn how to increase their ability to live in God-given joy — and gain confidence in the power of individual personal joy to transform … everything.  As St. Mother Teresa said, “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.”