This past Monday began an 8-day solitude retreat for half of the Sisters in our community. We refer to them as the “Marys”. The other half of us are the “Marthas” and we keep the monastery running.
Now…you may be wondering “Why would Nuns make retreats. I mean, aren’t they on retreat all the time?” Well…no! We do live a very recollected life to help us pray deeply. But Cloistered nuns and monks actually live very busy lives BECAUSE we have so much time devoted to prayer. You see with our full prayer lives this only leaves only about 5 – 6 hours to get our work and duties accomplished. We work very hard and we pray hard. We too need “vacation” time and of course, our vocations are spent with Jesus.
A Sister can choose to make a solitude retreat that is self-led or our Superior tries to obtain a director for those who would like a directed solitude retreat. This year four of the Sisters of the first retreat and four of the Sisters of the second retreat are/will be directed by Gail Pitt. A dear sister-in-Christ and an experienced retreat director. Gail has been directing retreats in our retreat house for close to 10 years. Her retreats are based on the Spiritual Exercises and the retreatants are steeped in the scriptures. (Perhaps you would like to come make a retreat under Gail’s direction too? or just a solitude retreat. If so contact our guest house administrator.)
I shared with a Passionist priest-friend about our retreats and asked his prayers. He sent the above picture with the below description. Grazie Padre Barbieri!