New Day Herald

Spiritual Exercises Retreat at the College of Preachers in Washington DC

Article imageOn the weekend of August 31 through September 2, 2003, thirty-one participants took part in an in-residence Spiritual Exercises Retreat at the College of Preachers on the beautiful grounds of the Washington National Cathedral, located near the Georgetown area of Washington, DC.

This is the fourth year our MSIA-DC community has held a retreat at the College of Preachers, an ivy covered building of gothic grandeur with polished wood and mysterious nooks and crannies. Deborah Martinez flew in from Los Angeles to lovingly facilitate our weekend.

The retreat was held in the library, a large room with book shelves on three walls, a huge fireplace in the main wall, and windows on the opposite wall where one could catch a glimpse of a small garden courtyard with benches and fish pond, a lovely setting of peace. Those of us who ventured in the courtyard at night during our break, saw the magnificent cathedral lit against the dark sky complete with circling bats.

Except for one meal break, the retreat was conducted in silence. What a gift to connect with Spirit in this quiet, lovely setting. In the silence, it seemed easier to experience God through the nature around us; the smell of boxwood after a rain, a walk through the fragrant herbs and flowers of the Bishop’s Garden and the well cared for grounds of the cathedral.

Our simple, yet nourishing and delicious meals were taken in the refectory, a large dining room with heavy wooden tables and chairs, a pulpit at one end and a beautiful rose window at the other.

We had lots of opportunity to attune to Spirit through Spiritual Exercises. On Sunday morning, during SEs, the cathedral chimes began to ring, which added a new dimension to our experience. Our retreat concluded with a visit from John-Roger, via video; what a special treat to see one of the Traveler’s at the end — or is it the beginning — of a wonderful experience.

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