Social Justice Blog

<< return to main

The power of retreat

Posted: August 18, 2017


The word calls for time away or to withdraw. The power lies in a break in the, “action” of our daily schedules, a “pause”. I had the opportunity to go on an annual retreat with my Social Justice colleagues from Catholic Churches in the Twin Cities at St. John’s University. It is a way to reflect, to share ideas and to discuss projects in the coming year. It’s also a way to recharge and to refocus our energies.

Our theme this year was on the, “Prophetic Voice”… How do we hear the voice of God and work with the Holy Spirit when we are so busy? How do we reduce distractions? How do we find peace? A retreat is a way to make space for the sacred encounter and to experience grace.

We explored lots of questions during our time together. How do we keep inspired and motivated in the midst of overwhelming needs in our world? How do we balance reflection with action? How do we engage as peace makers that are called to listen to all sides even when we may not agree? How do we seek the sacred in all of our work so it reflects our aspirations as Catholics?

We did not solve the complex, pressing issues that we are facing. The list is long. How do we work together to reduce poverty, and injustice? How do we live in hope? Although a brief time away will not solve these challenges, it creates space to talk about what we can do together. Engaging in conversation grounded in our Catholic identity encourages our sense of purpose.

I am always inspired by the amazing work my colleagues and their parishes are doing. I shared some of the work we have done over the last few months at St. Patrick’s. I am grateful to work at a place with so many people who do so much good in our world!

I feel energized after being on retreat. I encourage you to find time for retreat… It may be fishing at the lake, gardening, walking or running, birding, or cooking with friends. Whenever we carve our space to retreat from the world, it helps us to live more fully and deeply in the world!

--Maura Schnorbach