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Thursday, June 20, 2013

My retreat-the most important week in the year

Today I received the information about the retreat I will be making at the Villa del Mar Retreat House in Santa Cruz, California from July 17-24. The Villa Maria del Mar is run by the Sisters of the Holy Names and is a sacred place for me. I have been able to have either a retreat or some days of prayer there almost every summer for over twenty-five years. It is right on the ocean; some mornings are cold and foggy but the sun often shows itself in the afternoon with a gorgeous blue Pacific Ocean, often with white caps after the fog. On Wednesday evenings you can see over seventy sailboats out in the bay. At other times I see Dolphins and there are surfers at all hours to watch. When I began going to California for my retreats, Sisters were only charged twenty-five dollars a day! Now, it is more expensive as all retreat houses have had to charge more, but it is such a wonderful place and I am so happy that I will be able to return for a whole week this year. I am beginning to pray for the retreat which will begin exactly four weeks from today.  (I am writing this on Wednesday but posting on Thursday.)
I count on your prayer, too. It is the first time in years that I will be making a preached retreat. If I do not understand the Jesuit, I guess I could skip the conferences given twice a day, but I will be happy to have the daily liturgy and the evening sessions sound positive: two nights have a movie, two for faith-sharing, others for prayer and Reconciliation. It really is the most important week in the year for me. The last two years I have made a directed retreat at our retirement home and then had a few days at Villa Maria del Mar to deepen the retreat. Twice I have managed to have a thirty-day prayer experience there and the ocean scenes stay with me all year.
I did not plan to write about my retreat today, but I just heard the schedule and now am planning how I will prepare for this most important week of the year!

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