Advent Retreat at The Canticle sounds clarion call to “being life” Print
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Written by Sallyann McCarthy   
Monday, 26 November 2012 15:28
“Unwrapping the Gift of Faith: Releasing the Energy of Love in Our World” is the theme of this year’s Advent Retreat at The Canticle, home of the Clinton Franciscan Sisters.  The retreat opens at 7 pm, Friday, Dec. 7, and closes Sunday, Dec. 9 at noon.

“This Advent retreat,” explained Clinton Franciscan Sister Mary Smith who will lead the weekend of reflection, “is a clarion call to spiritual adulthood; a call to wrestle with and grow our faith life not just as belief in something, but as a way of life, a way of being life.”

“Being life, we are integral to the whole,” said Sister Mary.  “Relationships constitute the very stuff of our natural and historical existence, both as individuals and as societies.  We are nurtured and affected by relationships and derive energy and meaning from them. This dynamic faith perspective is a call to engage life creatively by going beyond a mind that is already made up.  Such a faith presupposes that our minds serve something they cannot name or understand and are open to the new.”

Sister Mary, a certified spiritual director who has been engaged in retreat work in California, Portland, Ore., and in Clinton for over 20 years, will be joined by Clinton Franciscan Sister Hilary Mullany and Clinton Franciscan Sojourner Gabriela Egging in presenting the reflections, creative activity and contemplative prayer in The Canticle chapel.

“We live in a relational world,” explained Sister Mary.  “The tragic events of 9/11, the natural disasters that continue to occur around the world, as well as events unfolding in each of our own cities or towns, graphically reveal this truth.  In this retreat we will be talking, thinking and praying about what is central to our dynamic, ever-unfolding faith life—always journeying deeper into the One who is beyond all words, deeper into loving service as part of the community of life on this planet.”

“We will unwrap together,” she explained, “ the precious Gift of Faith as articulated by our rich faith traditions, especially the documents of Vatican II that have impacted ongoing renewal and are still reshaping our lives.  Since the days of Vatican II, we’ve grown as ‘people of God’ in terms of freedom, charisms, competencies, and irreplaceable roles in the church. We’ve experienced ourselves as authentic bearers of the Gospel.  Thus, a major focus of the weekend will be on the essential tools for nurturing ‘creative fidelity’ and rebuilding our own relationships with one another and within the church and the world in our time.”

Registration for the weekend retreat is limited.  For details, call Sisters of St. Francis, 563-242-7611, or visit www.ClintonFranciscans.com.