NOTE: Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 crisis, the first three retreats of the 2020 season have been cancelled. Please check with the retreat office regarding pre-payments and refunds, as well as the status of the final two retreats as time progresses.
The Saint Vincent Archabbey Summer Retreat Program will offer five retreats in 2020, starting in May.
The first retreat, in Benedictine Spirituality, is entitled “Guardians at the Doors: Discerning Hidden Blocks to the Interior Life.” It will begin Friday, May 29 and end May 31.
Retreat Master Father Basil Burns, O.S.B., notes that “In the Rule of Saint Benedict, Chapter VII we read ‘Thus therefore must one beware of evil desires, because death is stationed outside the entrance of delight. So Scripture gives command saying, ‘Go not after thy fleshly desires.’ Our soul is a temple with many doors, and we must be aware of which doors to open and which ones to close. This retreat is designed to help you discern what is blocking you from entering more deeply into the interior of your heart where God dwells in peace.”
Father Basil, of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, earned a bachelor of science degree in politics from Louisiana State University, a master of arts degree from LSU in political theory, a master of arts in systematic theology from Notre Dame Seminary, Louisiana, and a doctorate in philosophy from the University of Dallas. A monk since 1997, he was ordained a priest in New Orleans in 2001, and came to Saint Vincent Archabbey in 2019.
The Silent Retreat, entitled “Blessed Are Those Who Mourn: Understanding Sadness and Depression in the Spiritual Life,” will be held June 12 to 14.
Father Basil will also conduct this retreat. He notes, “During the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus told all of his disciples that those who were poor, sad, and persecuted were actually blessed and happy—this is a difficult paradox! How are we to understand it? Have you ever felt guilty for not experiencing the ‘abundant life’ that Jesus promises? In this retreat we will confront Sacred Scripture as well as our own sadness and suffering in order to deepen our spiritual lives.”
Father Michael Antonacci, O.S.B., will offer a Benedictine Spirituality Day of Recollection on Saturday, June 27. Entitled “First in Faith: Benedictine Spirituality in a Hectic World,” he notes that “the rapid advancement of modern technology has driven the pace of our lives to speeds never before seen in human history. Ever-increasing demands on our time, attention, and energy present new challenges to people of faith seeking to grow in their relationship with God. This day of recollection will draw on the Benedictine value of stability as a spiritual antidote to the modern disease of constant busyness.”
Father Michael earned a bachelor of science degree in mathematics and physics from Saint Vincent College, a master of divinity degree from Saint Vincent Seminary, and was ordained to the priesthood in 2014. Following completion of his doctorate in physics from the University of North Carolina, he joined the physics faculty of Saint Vincent College in 2019.
“The Hidden Messages of Jesus’ Parables” is the topic of Father Wufstan Clough, O.S.B., who will lead the men’s retreat from July 24 to 26. Father Wulfstan notes that “we are all familiar with Jesus’ parables—or we think we are. But understanding His parables in the context of his time reveals hidden meanings and deeper, more challenging implications. During this retreat we will carefully read, examine, and pray through several of Jesus’ parables, and see how understanding many of the details adds to the messages they convey.”
Father Wulfstan has been a monk of Saint Vincent Archabbey for 30 years. He is associate professor of English at Saint Vincent College.
Father John Mary Tompkins, O.S.B., will conclude the retreat season with the charismatic prayer retreat entitled “Do Whatever He Tells You” from July 31 to August 2.
“The Blessed Virgin Mary’s final spoken words in the Bible are an exhortation which we ought to heed and follow, not just because she is our mother and the Mother of God,” Father John Mary notes. “She also lived fully in the Word. Come for a weekend of listening and worshipping and praising the Lord as we join Our Lady in pondering all that Jesus said and did, “reflecting on them in her heart” (Luke 2:19). As we tarry awhile along this retreat journey, we do so with Mary in our midst, waiting for the fresh reception of “power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you” (Acts 1:8), equipping us to go forth and share His Word in a new way with a Marian heart.”
Father John Mary is director of human formation and vice rector of Saint Vincent Seminary, and frequently leads retreats at Saint Emma Monastery, Greensburg.
For registration information please visit: https://www.stvincentstore.com/index.php/retreats.html.