Dear Friends of the Retreat Center,
In a recent letter sent to all of our retreatants, I referred to a painting that depicts a rural scene in autumn. Using rich earth tones and fields of gold and bronze, the artist created a scene that conveys a sense of the harmony and peace that we so often find in nature. The painting is entitled Season’s Change.
Each season of the year has its own unique beauty. The warm days and relaxed feeling of summer, the rich shades of autumn that tell of coming changes, the crispness of a cold winter day and the beauty of newly fallen snow, and the quiet awakening of nature during the welcome days of spring remind us that change is an ongoing part of life.
In the months ahead many of us will be introduced to the changes that will accompany the reorganization of parishes in our diocese. It is envisioned that this initiative, On Mission for the Church Alive, will renew our parish communities and encourage more active participation in various dimensions of Church life.
The proposed changes have been described as ‘dramatic’ and will call upon the faithful of the diocese to embrace a new vision of our local Church for the future. Any time that we experience a change such as this, we recognize that we might be asked to leave something behind in order to take a new step into the future.
Here at the Retreat Center, we want to continue to offer spiritual support to all of our retreatants at this important time. Our retreat theme for this season ~ In Christ, United in Mind and Heart ~ invites each of us to keep Christ at the center of our lives and to be guided by him in all things. It is he who calls us to be one with him and to form one community of charity, service, compassion, and peace.
In this edition of our Newsletter we are featuring those women and men who contribute to our weekend retreats by preparing and presenting workshops on various topics throughout the year. Many of our presenters are familiar to you and we are happy to welcome several new presenters for this season. We are grateful to all for their presence, for their generosity in sharing their gifts, and for their dedication to this important ministry.
May God’s abundant blessings be with you in all ways.
Sincerely in Christ,
Fr. Gerald Laba, C.P.