Advent retreat focuses on living religious life

Friday, December 15, 2006
Fr. Bob Dombrowski with heart-shaped stones.

Near Grandview -- The Brothers and Sisters of Charity ushered in the season of Advent by spending "A Week with Jesus."

Retreat Director for the silent retreat, held Dec. 3-6, at Little Portion Monastery, was Sister Emilie Eilers, I.W.B.S. from Victoria, Texas. John Michael Talbot was the prayer leader at daily Masses, celebrated by Little Portion's Chaplain, Fr. Bob Dombrowski.

This year's annual Advent Retreat focused on "Living the Relgious Life." Drawing from scripture, poetry, music, prayer and guided meditations, Sister Emilie led the Little Portion monastic community into a deeper awareness of God in everyday life.

Morning and evening sessions served as bookends for each day's silent time spent with God. Daily themes included "God Beyond Our Words" (encountering the One Who is Mystery), "Journey in Discipleship," "Holy Darkness" (Trusting God in times of darkness, despair or doubt) and "Temples of God" (the holy "vacancy of chastity").

Activities included chanting the Divine Office together, a half-hour leisurely stroll into nature, called a "Sabbath Walk," evening sharing about God's daily presence, and periods of deep reflection.

Sister Emilie has been a religious sister of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament order for 53 years. During that time, she has served not only as a popular retreat mistress, but also has worked in Catholic education as a teacher, principal, and administrator. Viola Talbot was an I.W.B.S. colleague of Sister Emilie's for 11 years in Victoria, Texas.

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