From Sandy Evans:
When I first heard about the October 2013 weekend Centering Prayer retreat, I was thrilled and the best part about it was that the retreat was being held at the Villa Maria Retreat Center in Frontenac. What a beautiful place and area to hold a fall weekend retreat. Nature walks to enjoy and explore by yourself and others. Leaves changing colors and listening to birds as you walk silently along the trail. Labyrinth.
The weekend schedule was divided between Centering Prayer sessions, DVD lecture series by Sr. Maria Tasto on True Self/False Self with break out small discussion groups afterwards. Meditative Movement exercise started each morning.
Time to slow down and spend time with God! Silence and Peacefulness! Renewing and Refreshing! I left that weekend very refreshed and with a better understanding of True Self and False Self in order to live being a better person living true to myself and living in harmony with inner peace. –Sandy is a member of the St. Joseph's Centering Prayer Group in Red Wing.
From Joan Kovacs:
GRATITUDE was my word for the weekend! Gratitude for being able to be there and participate with all the fellow pray-ers, was the phrase I wrote Friday night as I started my weekend journal. During the weekend many thoughts of all the blessings in my life came to light.
Sr. Maria's discussion of Unmasking Distortions was especially meaningful for me. These discussions included a review of our energy centers and the negative forces that they can play in our life to keep us from developing our True Self and our relationship with God. The Welcoming Prayer has been a prayer that I continue to use and the retreat renewed my use of it.
Having the retreat at the Villa was a "dream come true"; hopefully there will be more retreats at this Contemplative House.
–Joan is a member of both the St. Joseph's Church and Villa Maria groups.
From Jean Magnusson:
I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to participate in the Centering Prayer Retreat held at the Villa Maria this past October. Villa Maria is the ideal setting for contemplation and prayer. The autumn colors added to the beauty of the surroundings. I enjoyed meeting people from the surrounding area. The Villa staff was welcoming and the food was plentiful and delicious.
Contemplative Outreach staff members provided a schedule that allowed for a nice balance of prayer, video presentations and discussion. The extended periods of silence added to the entire contemplative experience. I look forward to attending future retreats at the Villa.
–Jean is a member of the Villa Maria Prayer Group.
From Linda Schafer:
The Retreat at the Villa Maria October 4-6, gave me a special time to spend in my relationship to God. I felt so included, connected and drawn into the powerful presence of God by Centering prayer and reflecting with so many others. The retreat gave me such a feeling that we have so many things in common; and yet even more so is the beauty of the uniqueness and the basic goodness of each of us. We are all created with our True Self.
–Linda is a member of the Villa Maria Prayer Group.