Retreat Schedule 2020

RETREAT SCHEDULES 2020
Jan   Feb   March  April   May   June   July   Aug   Sept   Oct   Nov   Dec 

January 3-5 (Weekend)
Contemplative Prayer
(Fr. Gerard and Br. Michael)
Prayer is a loving exchange with God. When we learn to receive the gift of God’s presence through loving silence, we are able to develop our personal relationship with Him. One way to receive this gift is through centering prayer, traditionally known as contemplative prayer. This type of prayer enables us to rest in God, leading to a more intimate relationship with Him.

January 10-12 (Weekend)
Sabbath Rest:  Receiving the Peace and Rest of God
(Dayna Gelinas, E-RYT 500)
Using restorative postures, forward bends, and meditation, this weekend of Yoga taught from a Christian perspective will create an atmosphere for your body and mind to warmly embrace the current season of your life. It will also create an atmosphere for you to genuinely encounter the gift of the practice of peace and rest. Learning how to let your body and mind rest will open the way for a God encounter within the stillness of your own heart. “Surrender your anxiety! Be silent and stop your striving and you will see that I am God” (Psalm 46:10, TPT).  All levels of yoga experience are welcome. The goal of our Christ-centered yoga will be to anchor and quiet the mind so that the body can rest well in meditation and contemplation.

January 13-16 (Midweek)
Confidence in God
(Br. Mark & Jacqueline Rychlicki)
Confidence In God is a choice that isn't always easy to make, yet it is imperative to make the choice.  It is only then that our true journey towards God can begin. Awareness of the Divine Presence and discernment of God's will are foundational in the spiritual life. Through these principles found in the Christian classic, “Abandonment to Divine Providence”, we will explore the key elements of our pilgrimage.

January 24-26 (Weekend)
Anger, Resentment & Forgiveness
(Br. Mark & Fr. Cassian)
Forgiveness of all is a central challenge of Jesus' ministry. We can often get stuck in anger or resentment. History teaches us that this has led tribes and nations to marginalize, dehumanize, and kill other tribes, nations, and peoples. This retreat will help us own our anger and resentment. While we have no pat answers, Christ is with us to empower us to forgive, to live forgiveness, and thus be the leaven of love to our communities in our modern world.

February 3-6 (Midweek)                                                     back to top
Life After Loss
(
Barb Kennedy)
Immediately after the death of Jesus, his followers felt lost, confused, afraid, and leaderless, and wondered how they would survive.  We too, following a loss, share many of those same feelings and doubts.  We too may wonder how we will be able to go on. Many times we have heard the invitation, “Come to me all you who are weary and I will give you rest.”  God is waiting and willing to comfort and heal us in our journey of grief. Come rest in his grace.

February 7-9 (Weekend)
The Monk Within
(Br. Michael)
As we are all contemplatives; we all have a “monk within.”  Come and discover "the monk within you." This retreat will focus on ways to nourish the contemplative dimension in yourself through prayer, silence, solitude, work, and community. 

March 13-15 (Weekend)                                                                         back to top
Forgiveness: Easier Said than Done!
(Martha Gross)
True forgiveness is a gift we first receive and then can give. This retreat offers tools for experiencing the inner freedom of forgiveness that enables us to forgive others, and even ourselves, and truly know that our shortcomings and failures are buried in the ocean of God's Mercy and Love.

March 16-19 (Midweek)
Contemplative Living in a Digital Age
(Alison Umminger Mattison)
This retreat will invite retreatants to consider their relationship to technology – how it helps or impedes their communication and listening abilities – both with themselves and others.  Retreatants are invited to take a 48 hour “digital detox,” embracing the silence and beauty of the Monastic environment, and reflecting on the scheduled sessions. Using the Tree of Contemplative Practice as a guide, we will explore limbs rooted in Monastic life, such as Lectio Divina, Centering, and Deep Listening, as well as journaling, collage, and other creative limbs.  Retreatants will be invited to consider how contemplative practice leads to a more just and kind world and leave with ideas of how to mediate the constant noise of the world around them.

March 27-29 (Weekend)
Codependency
(Br. Michael)
On this retreat we will discuss denial patterns, low self-esteem patterns, compliance patterns, control patterns, and avoidance patterns that affect healthy relationships. We will talk about healthy ways to deal with these patterns. Our goal is to have healthy inter-dependent relationships with family, relatives, friends, co-workers and even with God.

March 30-April 2 (Midweek)
Dancing Madly Backwards
(Br. Elias)
This retreat focuses what St. Benedict calls the tools of the spiritual craft: various practical ways to follow the lead of the Spirit in the unfolding of a silent, loving communion with God beyond the senses, words or rituals. Participants will learn practices to deepen the silence at the bottom of the soul, skillful ways that deal with harmful thoughts and feelings, the prayer of gratitude, the use of the imagination in praying the Gospels, ways to silence the chatter and commentaries inside the mind, and how to “dance madly backwards” by releasing the power of the Name of Jesus.

April 3-5 (Weekend)                                                                         back to top
Palm Sunday: Meeting Jesus during Holy Week
(Fr. Cassian & Br. Mark)
In the Passion narratives of the Gospels, we meet three facets of Jesus: (1) Jesus who plumbs the depths of human pain and alienation; (2) Jesus who reaches out to others in concern and forgiveness, even on the road to Calvary; and (3) Jesus who freely lays down His life and embraces death as victory.  Contemplating these facets assures us that God is listening, even in our darkest hours of pain, failure, and alienation. We can find God in suffering when we open ourselves to His reconciling compassion and forgiveness.  Even the worst evil and distortion in our world have no power over Jesus or those to whom He gives life.  

April 9-12 (Weekend)
Sacred Triduum
Come join us and enter more deeply into the powerful events that are the very foundation of our Christian lives.  On Holy Thursday, we celebrate the gifts of the Eucharist and loving service to one another in the washing of the feet.  On Good Friday, we walk with Jesus in His Passion and death.  On Holy Saturday, we spend time with Jesus in the silence of the tomb in preparation for the joy of the Resurrection on Easter.

April 17-19 (Weekend)
Divine Mercy Retreat
(Fr. Gerard and Br. Mark)
God has revealed to us His boundless, merciful love in His Son, Jesus.  His heart was broken with love as He wept over a Jerusalem that would later refuse His love, nailing Him to a cross.  That cross brings us hope today.  The message has rung out through the centuries, yet we have often become deaf to His merciful love.  This retreat will focus on how we can receive the healing love, poured out from the radiant heart of our Lord, once we learn to put our trust in Him.

April 27- 30 (Midweek)
Contemplative Prayer
(Fr. Gerard and Br. Michael)
Prayer is a loving exchange with God. When we learn to receive the gift of God’s presence through loving silence, we are able to develop our personal relationship with Him. One way to receive this gift is through centering prayer, traditionally known as contemplative prayer. This type of prayer enables us to rest in God, leading to a more intimate relationship with Him.

May 8-10 (Weekend)                                                                          back to top
Image, Faith & Photography
(Fr. Francis Michael, John Spink, Matthew Jeffries, and Michael Alexander)
Humanity is made in the image and likeness of God. Photography, at its best, can bring to view beautiful images that evoke a powerful sense of God's presence in our world. John Spink, a well-known photographer whose work graces the pages of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, will share his insights and images. Matthew Jeffries a professional photographer, will also share his photographs, many of which are from this area. Michael Alexander’s vocation as a Catholic press photojournalist covers 25 years. He is the staff photographer for the Archdiocese of Atlanta and its newspaper, The Georgia Bulletin. “God has blessed me with the opportunity to combine my faith with my profession.” Michael will share his images and insights on “The Intersection of Faith and Photography.” Fr. Francis Michael will lead the retreat and share his photographs and comments on faith and the photographic imagination.

May 11-14 (Midweek)
The 12 Roses of St. Therese
(Jacqueline Rychlicki & Rosemary Amor)
This retreat features twelve key elements of Theresian spirituality presented in the form of a bouquet of a dozen roses just for you. Includes time for presentation, quiet reflection and discussion. Join us for this delightful shower of roses for your soul!

May 15-17 (Weekend)
Grounded Faith:  Awakening to the Holy Spirit & Experiencing New Growth
(Dayna Gelinas, E-RYT 500)
Using standing postures, hip openers, and meditation, this weekend of Yoga taught from a Christian perspective will strengthen your body, mind and soul connection, creating synchronicity and proper balance. As we nurture and cultivate your body/mind connection, which is vital for accurate self-awareness and true spiritual growth, you will learn to honestly discern what the Holy Spirit is communicating through your body and its five senses. Your faith will grow, establish deeper roots, and become more fruitful. All levels of yoga experience are welcome. The goal of our Christ-centered yoga will be to create a stable and clear mind so that the body and its five senses can discern God’s Spirit working within you.

May 22-24 (Weekend)
Sacred Journey Towards the End of Life
(Br. Mark, Br. Michael, and Dr. Christopher Powers)
This retreat will explore the importance of Spirituality in the journey of Death and Dying and the areas of Health Care and Medicine, especially the growing field of Palliative Medicine.  Specific topics will include the Spirituality of Death and Dying, decisions around End of Life Care - in the hospital, long term care facilities, and home settings; Advanced Care Planning, Long Term Care for Loved Ones, and the growing opportunities to explore ways to participate in God's transforming Love given that a physical death is a reality for all of us.  Additional topics will touch on the cultural and religious practices of the Catholic and other Christian faith traditions as well as other religious faith traditions.

May 29-31 (Weekend)
Self Confrontation
(Br. Mark)
A retreat that deals with the need to grow through self knowledge and the courage to make that journey.

June 5-7 (Weekend)                                                                          back to top
Healing a Painful Past
(Martha Gross)
Painful memories can haunt us and some themes are repeated throughout our lives.  This retreat will provide tools for opening to God's healing touch that can help free us from the grip of past experiences and enable us to adopt a story that is more life-giving and fulfilling.  

June 8-11 (Midweek)
Monastic Wisdom Beyond the Cloister
(Br. Elias &
Jacqueline Rychlicki)
Drawing upon the wisdom of the monastery, this four-day retreat will focus on aspects of monastic life that can help busy people who are searching for ways to slow down and pay more attention to the spiritual dimension of their lives. The retreat will include an opportunity to view a documentary film series that captures the impact monastic life had on five women who were struggling with challenges that confront us all. Retreatants will explore how a contemplative approach to life can lead to a deeper understanding of what it means to be attentive to the many ways God is present to us. Practical suggestions for incorporating monastic wisdom into everyday life will be included.

June 19-21 (Weekend)
(Carl McColman)
J.R.R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, and George MacDonald: the Wisdom of the Christian Imagination
J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings and C.S. Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia are masterpieces of fantasy literature. Since both authors were committed Christians, these writings also are filled with spiritual insights and mystical wisdom. On this retreat we will reflect together on how Tolkien, Lewis, and their 19th-century predecessor, George MacDonald, offer timeless guidance that remains relevant to followers of Christ today.

June 22-25 (Midweek)
Who am I “Thinking With”?  Cultural Influences and Individual Identity
(Br. Mario)
Most people like to believe that they “think for themselves.”  More likely, we all choose to “think with” different groups of people – be they our families, our friends, or even Internet communities.  Given so many conflicting voices, how does an individual really know what he or she thinks?  This retreat will invite participants to explore how the individual develops in community.  How do we respectfully hold differences in the face of pressure to conform?  Are we brave enough to be disliked?  How do we really know what we feel?  Can we respect and even love those who differ from us?  Monastic community has much to teach about harmonious living in community, and retreatants will glean from centuries of wisdom how better to live relationally in this present age.

June 26-28 (Weekend)
Befriending Fear
(Br. Mark)
In life there are fears that have to be faced and even embraced if we are to grow and expand. Fear has a good purpose, it protects us from danger. However, it can also keep us from stepping over obstacles that keep us from maturing and living life fully. Once we give in to fears that are based on a lack of self-worth, it can become a habit that can back those afflicted into a very small corner. It is not an easy journey, but one well worth taking.

July 3-5 (Weekend)                                                                          back to top
Drawing Nearer to Christ
(Fr. Cassian)
We invite people 35 and under to come to this introduction to living with Christ as presented in our monastic tradition. In what ways are you being drawn nearer to Christ? Would you like to know more of His presence in your life? This retreat will include meditations on scripture from some of our own Cistercian writers. As we interact with these meditations, we will find ways to open ourselves more fully to Christ.

July 10-12 (Weekend)
Writing & Journal Keeping
(Br. Mark, Fr. Cassian & Br. Elias)
Explore your personal connection between the inner life and the written word. This weekend includes time for silence, journaling, and reflection on the relationship between writing and the spiritual life. Suitable for professional and amateur writers at all skill levels, this weekend does not include personal criticism or feedback.  Instead, it simply creates a space where you can write, pray, and perhaps even combine the two into a unified spiritual practice.

July 13-16 (Midweek)
Praying with the Scriptures
(Fr. Gerard and Br. Michael)
The practice of Lectio divina, meaning divine reading, is a form of prayer where one ponders Sacred Scriptures as a means of seeking communion with God. This retreat will discuss the steps of lectio divina and how we can practice this form of prayer in everyday lives as a tool to deepen our relationship with Christ.

July 17-19 (Weekend)
Who do you say that I am?
(Br. Mark Dohle & Jacqueline Rychlicki)
Pondering the most important question in Scripture – Using the prayer of Lectio Divina to encounter Christ and ones’ self. The question posed to Jesus and by Jesus in the Gospels leads to a new capacity of life, love, and intimacy in God. Come join us as we ponder what this question means to each of us today.

July 24-26 (Weekend)
Prayer and the Image of God
(Fr. Francis Michael & Br. Mario)
The focus of this retreat is discovering and exploring our images of God and how they affect our prayer.  As St. Teresa of Avila learned, discovering the images of God can profoundly affect our prayer life and ultimately our relationship with God.

July 27-30 (Midweek)
Creativity As a Spiritual Path
(Alison Umminger Mattison)
God, the Great Creator, has given each of us unique creative gifts.  As children, we are usually attuned to these gifts and practice and celebrate them with ease.  In adulthood, however, many of us find that we have put a creative dream or two aside to attend to more practical matters.  This retreat will excavate those dreams and maybe even reveal new ones.  Using Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way:  A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity and the exercises therein, we will work together to break through past creative blocks and generate new visions for ourselves and our work.  This inner work helps grow our view of a generous God who invites us, as creative beings, to participate in an ever-unfolding Creation.

July 31- August 2 (Weekend)
Boundaries
(Br. Michael)
This retreat will focus on “boundary issues.”  Do you “invade” other people’s boundaries?  Do you allow others to “cross” your boundaries?  Boundaries are legitimate, healthy “fences” that we put between ourselves and others in order to maintain healthy relationships.  The purposes of having boundaries are to protect and care for ourselves, and respect others, thereby establishing healthy relationships.

August 7-9 (Weekend)                                                                          back to top
Hearts in Harmony: Aligning with God’s Plan to Connect with God, Self and Others
(Dayna Gelinas, E-RYT 500)
Using twisting postures, backbends, and meditation, this weekend of Yoga taught from a Christian perspective will explore the God-designed anatomy of your body and brain. You will experiment with your range of motion and consider the connection between your gut instincts, the desire of God’s heart, and your thinking. Ultimately, you have been designed by Love for Love, and your body/mind connection exists best in the experience of Love. This Love is the plan with which we want to align, and Loving God, self, and others is the connection we desire to establish. All levels of yoga experience are welcome. The goal of our Christ-centered yoga will be to join the body and mind in Love so that your heart can easily be aligned with God’s best plan for your life.

August 10-13 (Midweek)
Spirituality of Imperfection
(Fr. Francis Michael & Br. Michael)
The spirituality of imperfection speaks to those who seek meaning in the absurd, peace within the chaos, light within the darkness, and joy within the suffering, without denying the reality and even the necessity of absurdity, chaos, darkness, and suffering. This is not spirituality for the saints or the gods, but for people who suffer from what the philosopher and psychologist William James called “torn-to-pieces-hood.” We have all known that experience. To be human is to feel, at times, divided, fractured, and pulled in a dozen directions ... and to yearn for serenity and some healing of our “torn-to-pieces-hood.”

August 14-16 (Weekend)
Listening to God
(Fr. Gerard & Br. Mario)
This retreat focuses on learning to listen to God with the ears of our hearts. We will learn how to listen to God speak to us through the Scriptures, how to listen in the monastic tradition (Rule of Benedict), how to listen to conscience, the silence of God, and how to listen to the hearts of our brothers and sisters.  Please bring a notebook for journaling.

August 21-23 (Weekend)
Second Half of Life Can Be the Better Half!
(Martha Gross)
Midlife begs the question, "Is there more to life than this?" This retreat will help us recognize and respond to that deep but subtle longing, and surrender to God's loving call -- a call into life enriched with love, meaning and purpose. It is never too late to discover the "more" in life!  

August 28-30 (Weekend)
Dancing Madly Backwards
(Br. Elias)
This retreat focuses what St. Benedict calls the tools of the spiritual craft: various practical ways to follow the lead of the Spirit in the unfolding of a silent, loving communion with God beyond the senses, words or rituals. Participants will learn practices to deepen the silence at the bottom of the soul, skillful ways that deal with harmful thoughts and feelings, the prayer of gratitude, the use of the imagination in praying the Gospels, ways to silence the chatter and commentaries inside the mind, and how to “dance madly backwards” by releasing the power of the Name of Jesus.

September 4-6 (Weekend)                                                                          back to top
Cistercian Spirituality
(Fr. Francis Michael & Fr. Cassian)
This retreat will explore how the Charisms, such as patience, humility, Liturgy of the Hours, lectio divina, silence, and solitude, that define the life of the monastic community can be readily translated to the lay community. Both monastic and Lay Cistercians will discuss how they live the Charisms in their everyday life.

September 14 – 17 (Midweek)
Too Deep for Words
(Br. Elias & Jacqueline Rychlicki)
In the teachings of Jesus, there are prayers, and then prayer---a silent, loving communion with God beyond the senses, words or rituals. We invite retreatants to learn prayer rooted in the Gospels---ancient, proven ways for the most part, unknown in our culture. The theme of this retreat is the gradual unfolding of the divine image within us into likeness. Participants will become familiar with the use of the breath and imagination in prayer, and ways to develop interior silence and stillness. We will also present practices to deal with afflictive thoughts and feelings, and the incessant chatter and commentaries inside us that prevent our going deeper into God. As a final word, this retreat longs to help participants to become more of what they already are, living flames of kindness and compassion.

October 16-18 (Weekend)                                                                          back to top
Truth Revealed with Understanding: Harvesting the Words and Images of Your Life
(Dayna Gelinas, E-RYT 500)
Using gentle inversions, shoulder-openers, and meditation, this weekend of Yoga taught from a Christian perspective will focus on the hidden power of the words that you speak and the words that you hear, as well as on the power of the images that you can touch and the images that you create in your mind. We will consider how both these words and visuals yield a harvest. All levels of yoga experience are welcome. The goal of our Christ-centered yoga will be to quiet the mind so that you can easily hear, understand, and respond to God’s truth accurately.

October 19-22 (Midweek)
Jesus and the Gospel Women: Touched by the Lord         
(Br. Mark Dohle)
It has often been overlooked that Jesus reaches out repeatedly to women in particular (persons not traditionally considered as disciple-material), letting them know Him in a powerfully personal and life-changing way. Reading and meditating upon such Gospel passages can help us retreatants- ordinary folks, women and men alike – explore the close personal relationship modeled in Jesus’ encounters with women of diverse circumstances and situations, encounters which show God’s passion for the full human flourishing of all persons.

November 6-8 (Weekend)                                                                          back to top
Wisdom of the Christian Mystics
(Br. Elias & Carl McColman)
From the Desert Fathers to Julian of Norwich to Thomas Merton, Christian history is filled with stories of men and women who experienced a profound sense of God's presence in their lives. Can the teachings of the mystics still speak to us today?  The mystics themselves would say "Yes."  Furthermore, their message is not just for priests, monks or nuns, but is indeed meant for the entire people of God.  With this in mind, during this weekend we will look at several ways that the wisdom of the Christian mystics can provide insight and inspiration for our age, including the universal call to holiness, St. Paul's directive to "pray without ceasing," and the promise from the Psalms to "Be still and know that I am God."

November 9-12 (Midweek)
Prayer: The Heart of Monastic Mindfulness
(Fr. Cassian & Br. Elias)
We invite people 35 and under to come to this introduction to scripturally-based Christian prayer which draws us into a silent, loving communion with God. We will include praying the psalms, prayer of silence, invoking the name of Jesus, praying with the imagination, praying the rosary, and other forms of prayer, all of which are ways to deal with the clutter of chatter, thinking and commenting inside us, that prevent going deeper into God. We will include periods of practice and small group sharing of experience. This retreat, built on authentic monastic practice, will offer a practical vision of a journey, led by the Spirit, to the highest expression of human possibility. Conferences and practice sessions by various monks.

November 13-15 (Weekend)
Anxiety, Depression, and Burnout - a Spiritual Rx
(Martha Gross)
Life can leave us exhausted, and everyday living can feel like an endless chore. Not a replacement for therapy or drugs, this retreat provides tools for opening ourselves to the healing touch of the Living God. Christ longs for us to deeply receive His Love - a Love that provides Peace to the anxious; Light to those trapped in the darkness of depression; and New Life to those experiencing burnout.

November 23-25(Midweek)
Spirituality of Thank-Full-Ness
(Fr. Gerard & Br. Mario)
Practicing the spirituality of thankfulness strengthens our faith, as we remember the evidence of God's presence in our lives. Thank-full-ness encourages others, giving them strength and joy for their journey.

December 4-6 (Weekend)                                                                          back to top
Contemplative Prayer
(Fr. Gerard and Br. Michael)
Prayer is a loving exchange with God. When we learn to receive the gift of God’s presence through loving silence, we are able to develop our personal relationship with Him. One way to receive this gift is through centering prayer, traditionally known as contemplative prayer. This type of prayer enables us to rest in God, leading to a more intimate relationship with Him.

December 11-13 (Weekend)
12 Step Spirituality for Everyone
(Br. Michael)
This retreat will show how everyone can use the Twelve Steps of AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) in their spiritual lives.  The retreat will provide practical ways to use the Twelve Steps as spiritual “tools” on your journey to God.