Dotting gardens and landscapes around the area are Resurrection Lilies. They are so named because in February the leaves appear lush and green, looking very much like daffodils. Unlike daffodils and many other bulbs, the leaves of the Resurrection Lilly die without blooming. It is not until the beginning of Fall that seemingly out of nowhere a solitary shoot will emerge from the ground and produce a spectacular bloom.
I see some parallels between the life-cycle of the Resurrection Lilly and our own journey through this pandemic. For many, last February was a time when the leaves of our dreams were green, filled with hope and promise after a long winter. Once the reality and depth of the pandemic began to sink in, these leaves of new growth turned brown and died.
For the Resurrection Lilly, that was only a stage in its life-cycle, not the end. The lily instead used the dormant time to store up energy from the sun and nutrients from the soil. Unseen, the lily was working hard and readying itself for a spectacular appearance.
For months it feels like we as a society have been been dormant. Some, however, have spent the time getting ready for the rebirth. The leaves may have died but the underground preparation continued. With the coming of Fall, students are cautiously returning to school and a sprinkling of groups are coming together, mixing virtual and in-person contact. It’s the beginning of Fall and a little flower has emerged from the ground, maybe not as full as years’ past, but still revealing hint of its previous glory and indicating that during the long period of dormancy there was some hard work taking place beneath the surface.
At the conference center, we’ve used the dormant time to get ready for an ultimate return. We’ve had some success with small, well-spaced retreats and events, indoors and out. The ‘blooms’ are by no means as numerous or large as previous seasons, but we’re blooming nevertheless and that’s cause for celebration.
What can we learn from the resurrection lily? Even when your plans have been stymied by current events, there is still an opportunity to work beneath the surface, finding sources of energy and gathering nutrients for the ultimate return. During the time after the leaves died, the Resurrection Lily was by no means lifeless, but busier than ever getting ready for a spectacular return.
How will you restock the ‘nutrients’, store up energy, and get ready to emerge from this period of dormancy?
During this period of ‘dormancy’, the energy at the center has been directed toward putting together an all-star line-up of retreats and events. For each, we’re intentionally keeping the numbers low so there is plenty of safe space for anyone who attends. If you’re interested in any of these events, please register early to make sure you have a place. Our last retreat sold out. We hope in one of these offerings you will find way to recharge your batteries and replenish any depleted spiritual nutrients.
Pastor Retreat Renew, Refocus, Recharge
October 15-16 (for pastors of all denominations and Christian traditions)
Treat your pastor to a day away from the office for spiritual renewal and personal growth! This special one-night retreat would be a great gift to give on Pastor Appreciation Sunday (October 11). In addition to time for reflection and renewal, there will be three thought-provoking presentations, plus plenty of time to collaborate with peers of other faith traditions who are also trying to navigate through the choppy waters of this pandemic. Register your pastor today – space is limited to make sure all participants are safely distanced. Click here for more information or to register.
Fulfillment of Faith
Come to a retreat experience like no other. Professional actress and story-teller Olivia Woodford of Bible Women Speak will perform vignettes highlighting the influential women of the bible leading up to the first Christmas. Following each act, Olivia will tap into her wealth of experience leading retreats and lead the participants into a deeper discussion on the biblical figures of each scene. The retreat is one night, November 6-7. The special price is $150, which includes all meals, lodging and access to our beautiful grounds and facilities.
Olivia is a member of Network of Biblical Storytellers International, the Founder of Healing Theatre, and a professional storyteller. About her career she says, “I have explored the nature and power inherent in story. With a career focused on how to marry theater with the sacred, I was inspired to create sacred dramas based on the gospels to have the words and verses leap from the page and into our lives and hearts in a meaningful and beautiful way.”
Tap into the proven benefits of arts and crafts to better understand God’s guiding presence and ultimately find peace amidst chaos and confusion. The retreat leaders will use ‘three P’s” to improve your spiritual health: Painting, Pottery, and Poetry.
The sessions will be hands-on, laced with many spiritual insights. With some guidance from expert presenters, you will be guided toward opening yourself up to the creative powers locked within. The creations from the last session were amazing. Through this creative process, you’ll leave with a new awareness of God’s presence guiding you and acting in your life.
“Behold, I make all things new.” New Year’s Retreat
12/31/2020 through 1/2/2021
Without a doubt, it’s been quite a year. To close this year out, and to start the next year with the right frame of mind, body, spirit and soul, the center is pleased to offer a unique two night retreat experience. On New Year’s Eve, we’ll have a banquet style meal with festivities after. On New Year’s Day we’ll have the traditional New Year’s meal. Throughout the retreat, Fr. Peter Tremblay will be back, delivering powerful and inspirational messages to help us go forward into an promising but uncertain future. This will be a perfect way to close out a wicked 2020 and ‘make all things new’ in 2021. Click here for more information or to register.
“Date Night” with a Saint
Every Thursday Beginning October 1
This Fall, we’ll be resuming our series, “Date Night with a Saint”. Each session will begin with a
meal at 6:00 PM, followed by a reflection, and conclude with a final blessing at 8:00 PM. For those who arrive early, there will be a Holy Hour of Adoration from 4:45 PM to 5:45 PM before each session.
For the first four Thursdays, we’ll explore the spirituality of Mother Teresa. Learn how her life’s example may help you overcome discouragements and guide you in your own spiritual journey. The discussions will be guided by the new book written by the beloved papal preacher, Fr. Raniero Cantalamesa, The Spirituality of Mother Teresa. There is no cost, but donations will help defer the cost of the meals. The presentations for each evening will stand-alone, so come to one or to all. After getting to know Saint Teresa of Calcutta, we’ll move on to her mentor, Saint Therese of Lisieux. Click here for more information or to register. We’d like a good head count the Tuesday before each Thursday’s event.
Blessing of the Animals
12:00 PM Sunday, October 4
On the Feast of St. Francis, the patron saint of animals, bring your animal to for a traditional blessing of the animals on the grassy lawns of the center. For those registered, we will prepare a picnic lunch. Take some time to explore the property with your family and your pet(s). The price for the lunch is $15 per person, $25 per family. An outdoor Catholic Mass will begin at 11:00 AM for those that are interested. All of the above is weather permitting. Click here for more information or to register.
Fun Making Pasta Class
Saturday, September 26 from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM
LAST DAY TO REGISTER IS THIS THURSDAY!!!
Our new chef wants to share some of his culinary gifts. Join him this Saturday morning and learn how to make your own pasta, flavoring it with your choice of herbs. The class will conclude by a light lunch that will include the pasta you just made. To keep everyone safely separated, we’ll cap off registration at 10 people, so reserve your place now, email or call 828.327.7441. Price of $25 includes all of the tools and materials you’ll need, plus a delicious lunch. You need not bring anything but an appetite and a desire to learn something new.
If none of these retreats and events are what you really need at this time of transition and crisis, let us know how we can provide what you do need. Email the director, Deacon Scott D. Gilfillan, with any requests or suggestions.
Looking for a place for great
We’ve got a super-talented staff and the perfect facilities to put together an amazing event.