28 July 2009

Sisters of St. Joseph in Orange

What is it about nuns and convents built in the 1920s that gives me heebie-jeebies ( in a good way) and makes me feel all weepy inside? My skin gets all prickly and hyper-alert and I feel as if I've entered a thin place (a Celtic term to describe holy places where the veil between God and this world feels thin). Yesterday I met with the Director of the 19th Annotation Retreats at the Sisters of St. Joseph in Orange. We had a quick interview and by the end of it, I was on my way to starting the program. The orientation starts on September 10 and progresses till June.

What is the 19th Annotation Retreat?
This retreat is based on the 30 Day Retreat developed by St. Ignacius of Loyola (founder of the Jesuits). Since the 30 Day Retreat requires a full time participation that most working people can't do, it's been broken down into a 9 month program that you can do each week.

The program consists of these exercises and commitments:
  • a meeting with a spiritual director once a week
  • one hour of Ignatian prayer and 30 minutes of journaling a day
  • once a month group meeting with everyone else doing the 9 month retreat
I've done shorter forms of Ignatian prayer (it includes reflecting back through your day, listening to yourself and becoming aware of the movements of your heart) at other retreats and was drawn to the rhythm and structure it provides. My good friend did this program last year up in the bay area and said "it totally changed how I view God." I'll be updating the blog on what my experience is like over the course of the next 9 months.

Along with my current interests in all things Catholic, I just finished reading The Catholic Imagination by Andrew Greeley. He is my new favorite author of sociology and religion. Check out his website--he's a priest, sociologist, Chicago native, Irish, journalist, and author of fiction novels.

1 comment:

  1. Wow! Hanna! This sounds like a good fit for you - I guess you'll have a very good idea of this is the direction you want to pursue after 9 months!