Wednesday, July 23, 2014

On Retreat Back in April

For the past several years, I've made a silent retreat of several days, usually at the rural Jesuit Center in Wernersville PA.  Last summer, still pastoring at Tiny Rural Church, I decided that I'd like to make my next retreat in a somewhat more populated locale.  I started thinking about whom I knew, in person or by reputation, in places like New York and Boston, and then remembered that Spiritual Director Emeritus is at Georgetown!  Although my plans for a winter retreat were derailed by the broken ankle episode, I did get there in April.  For whatever reason, I've been thinking about that week today, and so here is my usual pictorial replay:

 I stayed at the Jesuit Residence (the JesRes) on campus, an elegant building in which an incredibly hospitable and kind community of rather amazing men resides.  I stayed mostly to myself, and they all honored my retreat time, but it was a lot of fun to look around at meals and recognize faces from book jacket photographs.  (I think I was probably the only Presbyterian in the building all week, and one of very few women.  Some weeks my life is more unusual than others.) 
My car, sadly, spent several days and a lot of money on its own retreat a local service station.  It had started to sputter as I approached the campus, and the next day was utterly silent and still.  Some kind of transmission line thing.
The first couple of days it was really warm, so I stayed outside as much as possible.
Early morning prayer view:
 I spent a lot of time curled up with my foot elevated and wrapped in my ice pack, probably because I persisted in exploring the campus at least a little bit.
History ~
Trinity Chapel Courtyard ~
My story ~
Crypt chapel ~
Dahlgren Chapel ~
Iggy, of course ~

Michelle and her husband came down from Bryn Mawr for a production in which their son was involved and stopped by for a late night visit:

And a certain spiritual director refused to cooperate for a Serious and Spiritual Selfie.
It's difficult to articulate the results of a week of intensive and silent prayer ~ in this case, relaxed and only relatively silent.  I have a sense, though, that the results of that retreat are starting  to seep into my daily ministry and to sort themselves into a slight and much needed alteration of perspective.
I first became acquainted with a Christ Pantocrator icon at Mount Angel Abbey in Oregon.   It probably means something that I ran into another one on the other side of the country during a week that might turn out to have been somewhat significant.


  1. Well, poo. Google ate my beautiful and articulate comment. Bad Google!

    Suffice to say - thank you for this post and so thankful you are writing once again.

    Abundant blessings, Nancy

    1. Glad you enjoyed it. Google can be very destructive!

  2. Your retreats always sound so inspiring. I know they rebuild and sustain you, and I always enjoy the pictures. I love sacred architecture and art, and they speak to my soul too. (BTW, I am also having trouble leaving comments a couple other times.)

    1. Sorry -- it seems to be getting more and more difficult to leave comments. But you are right -- these retreat times make the rest possible.

  3. Ah...Georgetown in April! And Dahlgren chapel, the scene of my own ankle accident :)