MERCY ASSOCIATES’ ADVENT RETREAT - STECHFORD 13 DECEMBER 2019
When an Associate asked if it would be possible for us to give our Group an Advent Retreat, we said ‘Yes’ and began to plan. This was the first time we had held a Mercy Associates’ Retreat in our house in Stechford. We issued an invitation having no idea of how many would be interested or free on a Friday so near to Christmas. To our surprise the ‘yes’ responses came pouring in and on the day we welcomed 16 Associates and Sr. Teresa Paschal O.Carm. Altogether 19 of us fitted comfortably into our front room.
The Reflections given by Sr Maura & Sr Maureen were on the meaning of the word ‘Advent’, and the invitation to slow down and allow space for God to come; the Word of God and the God who Speaks. We focussed on the Advent Readings especially Matthew’s Gospel which we will hear throughout the Sundays of this year.
All welcomed our invitation to SILENCE so that we could hear the Word as it came to us in different ways during the day. We are all aware of how noisy life is today because of social media and our busy lives, so the silence was perfect for everyone. Due to numbers we had a split lunch-break; half the group went to the Church which is just across the road to reflect before the Blessed Sacrament - with the opportunity for Confession - while the other half had lunch.
In the afternoon we prayed the December Prayer from the leaflet sent us by Sr Annette McCartan. The Retreat ended with Mass in Church. This special time was a gift to us all amidst the hustle & bustle in the lead up to Christmas.