Written on: October 26, 2016
The Future Evolving Out of Our Graced History
As a congregation we gathered for a “graced history” retreat, October 8-10, led by Sister Nancy Sylvester, IHM, from the Institute for Communal Contemplation and Dialogue.
It was our first time gathering as community without our Motherhouse. New patterns had to be explored in regard to the place of the retreat, traveling back and forth each day, meals and housing opportunities. We are learning to live into our new reality!
We met at Basilian Spirituality Center on Fox Chase Road and we stayed at various places within a six mile radius of the Center. We were grateful for the Holy Redeemer/Lafayette bus which transported many of us back and forth on the three days. Our deepest thanks to the Sisters of St. Joseph and Sisters of the Holy Redeemer, Lafayette-Redeemer and Plaza sisters who hosted some of our out of town sisters and provided evening meals. The retreat center was not as spacious as we are used to but we managed.
Sister Nancy led us through a review of the grace and importance of contemplation in this moment of our evolutionary journey. She also reminded us about listening and speaking from a contemplative heart.
We explored moments of our “graced history” and what they had to say about our evolving future.
We pondered what we needed to explore together as we move into the future and what we need to let go of as we journey forward. What is our future asking of us?
The sharing was lively and heartfelt. We all came away enriched by the input, sharing and prayer of these days. Fr. Charlie Noone came to celebrate liturgy with us.
One of the evaluation comments said it well:
“Thanks to all involved in planning and executing this meeting. It was so good to be able to speak of substantive topics and to share deep and meaningful discussions. Nancy energized the group and was a wonderful facilitator, I am grateful for all that went into the preparation – a huge task given the logistics.”