2011 Fall Retreat for Women
The Barn Abbey, New Harmony, Indiana
October 28-30, 2011
Using the traditions of Celtic and Benedictine spirituality the retreat weekend focused on celebrating creation and the interrelatedness of every living thing to one another and to God. The 13 participants took the opportunity to experience what it was to pray while walking an outdoor labyrinth, watching ducks swim by on a glassy lake, listening to the sounds of nature at eventide, baking bread and taking a prayer walk among sculptures in the historic, picturesque town of New Harmony, Indiana. (Click here for more information about New Harmony, about 150 east of St. Louis.)
The retreat was led by the Rev. Susan Skinner, a member of Spiritual Director’s International and an experienced retreat leader and was held in The Barn Abbey, a simplistic, monastic-like structure with small single rooms and communal bathrooms. The time included input from the retreat leader, suggested meditative experiences from the Benedictine and Celtic traditions, as well as times for silence and group reflections. Using the Benedictine model of “ora et labora” participants helped in the preparation of meals and enjoyed the use of New Harmony Inn grounds and facilities for prayer. (Click here for more Barn Abbey information.)
The retreat began with registration and a simple supper at 5:00 p.m. on Friday, October 28, and concluded with a noon time Eucharist on Sunday, October 30. The $225 fee covered the cost of lodging for two nights, five meals and all materials.
The participants experienced the Presence of God in solitude and community and enjoy the charm of New Harmony – a place that awakened the senses and touched the spirit.