Sister Ann, a member of the Sisters of Charity of Our Lady of Mercy in Charleston, came to Mepkin Abbey Thursday to lead a seminar on grief and loss, the first in a series of three lectures on “Discerning the Call of the Second Half of Life.”Read More »
Mepkin Abbey, a Cistercian monastery, provides a serene place of natural beauty and quiet – the perfect setting – to help participants find the contemplative practice best suited for them. During the Contemplative Aging Retreat various contemplative practices are explored as a way to welcome the inner life of self development and spiritual growth as we move into elder-hood. Through contemplative dialogue and sharing common experiences and fears of aging, participants have an opportunity to view aging as a gift. In companionship with fellow elders, the retreat is an opportunity to harvest the wisdom aging brings and to find spiritual ways to navigate its stages.
The retreat begins Friday evening and lasts until the noon meal on Monday. It is conducted by one of the monks with a qualified team. Twenty participants can be accommodated. A limited number of rooms are available at the Abbey for those who may wish to join the monks for their times of prayer. Others will be housed off-campus but meals are provided on campus.
At the end of the retreat the group will decide how it wishes to continue the experience of the retreat. CAC Contemplative Aging Cenobium (where the fruits of the practice are shared) is a community of anointed elders, those who have made the initial retreat, who continue to stay in conversation on the Abbey’s CAC webpage, come together, as often as possible, for ongoing support and lectures on the unique opportunities aging offers.
Mepkin Abbey offers three Contemplative Aging Retreats a year for Novice Elders. The intent of these retreats is to introduce or foster contemplative practices which welcome the inner life of self-development and spiritual growth rather than clinging to past achievements. They offer the companionship of others to help discover the secret of making old age an achievement to savor and a success to enjoy.
Responses from the Inaugural Contemplative Aging Retreat
“What a gift to have shared this time with good people of great life wisdom”
“What joy to spend time with people among whom the longing is so strong.”
“Committed and empowered to be a witness to a contemplative understanding of aging in whatever way is needed.”
“Graced. Challenged. Focused.”
“A sacred moment, cleansed, empowered, determined. May I be faithful.”
“Called, consecrated, pilgriming toward you, O God, awake, grateful, companioning aging others on theWay.”
“Blessed, embraced, empowered, sent forth to find and share God in all things and all things in God”
Next Contemplative Aging Retreats:
June 7 – 10, 2013 and October 4 – 7, 2013
Retreats begin Friday and end at Noon on Monday.
Advanced Contemplative Aging Retreats for Anointed Elders will be announced at a later date. Read More »
“Discerning the Call of the Second Half of Life”
- Thursday, April 11, 2013 – 2:00 – 4:00 PM
Grieving Our Losses – Sr. Ann Billard, OLM, PhD
- Thursday, June 6, 2013 – 2:00 – 4: 00 PM
Harvesting Our Gains – Lyndall Hare, PhD
- Thursday, October, 3, 2013 – 2:00 -4:00 PM
Dedicating Our Suffering – Jane Thibault, PhD
Mepkin Abbey Announces the Favorites of the 2012 (10th Anniversary) Creche Festival
- #1 African American Nativity from St. Joseph’s Parish in Wilmington, DE
No. 36 | 632 votes
- #2 Sicily, Italy, clay and cloth from Msgr. Francheschini’s collection
No. 32. | 525 votes
- #3 Hammered Copper by Mary Eldredge, VT, commissioned by Mepkin Abbey
No. 7. | 422 votes
- #4 Mosaic Triptych by Angel Allen, Columbia, SC commissioned by Mepkin Abbey
No. 6. | 404 votes
- #5 The Happy Nativity on loan from rev Robert and Chris Chiles, Greenville, SC
No. 56. | 320 votes
In response to many requests, beginning this year Mepkin Abbey will offer six contemplative directed retreats in addition to the private spiritual retreats available throughout the year.
Fr. Nicholas Amato, an Associate member of Mepkin Abbey, will be the presenter for the directed retreats. After serving as a pastor for 20 years in the Archdiocese of Baltimore, Fr. Amato’s full time ministry now includes directing contemplative retreats, preaching parish missions and offering days of recollection. He spends several weeks a year in residence at Mepkin Abbey.
“Over the years, we have had many, many requests for directed retreats,” said Abbot Stan Gumula. “Now, with Fr. Amato’s help, we will be able to provide this much needed ministry.”Read More »