Home » Features » 2016 Snowmass Retreat Emphasizes Importance of Community

2016 Snowmass Retreat Emphasizes Importance of Community

Posted on November 1, 2016, by Loretto Community

By Julie Popham

A double rainbow greets Snowmass retreatants the morning of Sept. 4.
Photo by Sandra Hareld

(Editor’s Note: This was the second retreat sponsored by the Outreach Team in an effort to bring together vowed and co-members of the Loretto Community, co-members-in-process and folks who are interested in knowing more about Loretto. The Outreach Team is planning a retreat at the Loretto Motherhouse in the spring of 2017 and another retreat at Snowmass over Labor Day weekend in 2017.)

From left, Lisa Reynolds and Helen Santamaria discuss a topic at the retreat.
Photo by Neil Tucker

This past Labor Day weekend, 15 members of the Loretto Community had the privilege of going on a retreat at St. Benedict’s Monastery in Snowmass, Colo. Loretto has had a long and fruitful relationship with this Trappist community. Loretto members have enjoyed retreats at St. Benedict’s Monastery for more than 40 years. We were welcomed as old friends and fellow pilgrims on the journey.

The retreat focused on spirituality in community, coming to consciousness of the sacred in our world and in our daily lives. We explored tools and techniques that have been used over the centuries — contemplative prayer, meditation, journaling, tai chi, yoga and Lectio Divina — to help us be open to God. If we take the time and spend the energy needed, all of these tools and techniques can help us to reflect, understand and find that peace of the soul for which we all search.

For years I felt closer to God when I was in nature than at other times. During this retreat I began to gain an insight into the importance of community in our spiritual journey. Meeting other members of the Loretto Community, hearing their life stories and sharing thoughts and dreams helped me realize the importance and potential of community. Community can help us see and participate in the interaction of contemplation and action. With the help of our fellow pilgrims, we can try to protect the earth by promoting safe energy alternatives. We can try to highlight the need for distributive justice by standing with those in need. We can try to create a world of peace and caring by sitting with the sick or reading to those who no longer can read.

People often think we can’t be spiritual in the hustle and bustle of the modern world. To be spiritual we have to seek the life of solitude and silence as do our friends at St. Benedict’s. If spirituality is being conscious of the sacred in our daily lives, then no matter where we live or how tumultuous our world appears to be, we can and need to be spiritual. Community can help us in our spiritual journey, in our journey of leading full lives centered in God.

(Julie Popham is a Loretto co-member-in-process.)


Loretto Community

We are Sisters and Co-members who strive to bring the healing spirit of God into our world.
Cupola Cross 2-Icon

Loretto welcomes you

Learn more or plan a visit to the Motherhouse!

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Cupola Cross 2-Icon

Loretto welcomes you

Learn more or plan a visit to the Motherhouse!