Retreat for European Brothers
At the end of July a European Marist Retreat took place in Valladolid, Spain. The retreat was for Brothers between 45 and 65 years of age.
Brother Stephen Smyth, one of the participants from our Province, shares how he has experienced the retreat:
The “Retreat for European Brothers” came at a good time for me: I have recently retired and now find myself once more in a period of major transition. The 40 or so retreatants were invited to reflect on Mary and the Scriptures and to consider our Marist vocation today. Brother Ernesto and his team had prepared the retreat meticulously and creatively. For example, the Eucharist and prayers were supported by interesting and helpful symbols. I also enjoyed many quiet hours in the shady garden in front of the grotto. One of the most inspiring elements for me was the small sharing group which met most evenings. Five of us shared deeply about our lives and work, our concerns and hopes, our spirituality and our sense of “Being Brother”. This was “holy ground”. Clearly, the Marist Brothers all across Europe are facing the same difficult questions of diminishment and re-visioning. Thankfully, we are graced by prayerful experiences like this retreat to help us in our discernment.