WelCom July 2020:
I am one member of a retreats team who volunteers their time giving Ignatian retreats in the Diocese of Palmerston North. The retreats are inspired by our knowledge and experience of St Ignatius’ Spiritual Exercises and the prayer exercises used are selected according to the context and needs of our receivers.
Like St Ignatius and his early companions, we are very mobile. Since being commissioned in 2014 to give prayer days and retreats in daily life, the Retreats Team has travelled widely throughout the diocese. Some of the team, as Ignatian spiritual directors, have also given individually guided retreats at retreat centres in Wellington, Kopua, Featherston and Auckland. In October this year, I will be part of a team giving a six-day individually guided retreat in Auckland, offered under the support of Ignatian Spirituality New Zealand.
During the weeks of Covid-19 lockdown we turned to giving retreats by Zoom in response to spontaneous conversations from people expressing a desire for a deeper encounter with Jesus. We gave 30-day retreats in daily life to four small groups around the diocese. Geography and social distancing no longer mattered; we simply used Zoom for our weekly small group sharing.
We do not plan a calendar of retreats. We respond to specific requests and offer retreats from an hour to 30 days. Content includes prayer, scripture, silence and sharing. Over the last year we have run retreats for individuals, groups of school staff, parish secretaries and mothers, in places as diverse as schools, churches, conference centres and living rooms.
We offer retreats on the principle that we have freely received, so we freely give (Mt 10:8), while grateful for koha we receive.
Please contact Nicola McCarthy at firstname.lastname@example.org or Murray Adams at email@example.com if you or your group would like to find out more.
‘Come and See’ 6 Day: 25–30 October, St Francis Retreat Centre, 50 Hillsborough Road, Auckland. Cost $770. Apply to firstname.lastname@example.org or go to: http://ignatianspirituality.nz/come-and-see-6-day-october-25/ to register.