Mittagong | June 9-11, 2017 Limited places available
Mind, Body and Soul Retreats with Andrea Dean – Churchill Fellow | Gifted facilitator | Spiritual guide
Would you like to:
✓ Reconnect with your faith and find peace and stillness with God?
✓ Live a Catholic life true to your values and without judgement?
✓ Resolve issues of discontent and disassociation with your church?
✓ Be part of a community of like-minded women to support you and share your faith?
If you answered yes to any of the above then this retreat is for you.
MITTAGONG | June 9-11, 2017
Who is this retreat for?
Andrea has designed a retreat program specifically for mature women who feel on the fringe of the Catholic Church.
You may have experienced a shift in your attitude to the church community and leadership as you mature, or are feeling a conflict between your values and the church rules. Sometimes this change leads to feeling of confusion and isolation, but the good news is it doesn’t have to be this way.
Andrea will help you reflect on how things have changed, connect with other like-minded women, and discover a new connection with the deeper parts of your faith.
WHAT TO EXPECT
This retreat is not a training program, a course or a holiday – it is a chance to connect, to find peace and stillness.
The Retreat venue is a working farm and vineyard. All meals are provided and your rooms are prepared for you. The format for activities is planned around meals and includes seven sessions. There will be come stimulus material in the form of presentations and readings. Usually this will be followed by quiet time for you to reflect on the ideas or issues raised. There will be opportunities for simple shared prayer and liturgy, quiet periods in the day and times of companionship and joy. You will also have an opportunity to share your feelings and thoughts and will be listened to respectfully and even reverently. There will be a sense of ease to the time of retreat and you will have plenty of rest and/or to take the opportunity to explore the environment and take leisurely walks.
Are you ready to find out more?YES, COUNT ME IN!
HOW DOES THE RETREAT WORK?
- Single Ensuite Room for Friday and Saturday Night
- All meals from Friday welcome dinner to Sunday lunch
- Retreat program and reflection booklet
- All session activities and materials
- Tea, coffee and refreshments
WHAT TO BRING
Other than organising your travel and packing (bring comfortable casual clothing and something warm) you might start reflecting on some of these questions–and listening for God: What am I bringing into this retreat? What is my physical condition lately? What concerns and questions have been occupying my mind and heart? What am I celebrating? What am I wondering about? Where do I hurt? Where have I seen God at work? What do I think God is inviting me into?
WHEN DO I NEED TO ARRIVE
Please arrive in time for 6 pm dinner on Friday evening (if possible). You will be able to leave after lunch on Sunday, at approximately 2 pm. Sessions are between 60-90 minutes and will involve times of input, quiet, discussion, prayer, walking.
Please organise your own transport arrangements to and from the venue.
So Who is Andrea?
I admit it: despite a life of deep involvement with the Catholic Church, I now feel on the fringe. I haven’t moved much – or have I?
I grew up in a very small country town and went to a two-teacher school where I was taught by the Sisters of St Joseph. After four years at a Catholic boarding school, I came home and enrolled in a Government high school for Years 11 and 12. Then I enrolled at a Catholic teachers’ college. After struggling with the scary notion of ‘vocation’, I entered the Sisters of St Joseph. Yes, a step right into the mainstream of the Church!
Over years of teaching in Catholic schools and related ministries, I remained deeply connected to Church, especially at parish level. Of course, I read at Mass, was a communion minister, facilitated children’s liturgies, served on parish councils, liturgy committees and also participated on archdiocesan councils.
It felt good being on the inside. Mostly. Access to forward-thinking and inclusive theology helped, as did regular retreats and spiritual direction. Like-minded companions were essential too.
Fast-forward 20 years and the community and collegiality I experienced has been enriching. I’ve taught in country schools across NSW and had four years as a missionary in Papua New Guinea. Lots of terrific formation and education opportunities have come my way. But I started to wonder, is this where I am really called to be? Am I using the identity of the group as a shield and avoiding my own emerging sense of self?
At this point I was content with being a Catholic woman, but struggled with religious life. I felt that I had hidden in the strong group culture and put a lid on my own growth. I was feeling on the fringe of religious life.
For years I struggled with the notion of my identity. I wondered who I would be if I left the religious community. I thought I would be nothing. I imagined that the act of leaving the congregation was as risky and dangerous as stepping off a cliff. It was frightening. It was paralysing.
Finally, after much inner work, the help of spiritual companions, a psychologist and loving friends, my perspective started to change.
I had a dream where the frightening cliff was transformed into a playful slippery dip. Only then could I face leaving the Sisters of St Joseph. And it was not as scary as I imagined.
Today, my sense of belonging to the Catholic Church is different. I am more independent. I often feel disappointed and frustrated about the formal Church. However, I’m also more tolerant of the pace and possibility of change in a complex institution. I don’t go around expressing my anger and sadness, except in the company of close friends.
Nowadays, I draw my spiritual nourishment from a broader palate of spiritual practices.
Join me for a Mind, Body and Soul Experience3-day spiritual retreat
Mittagong | June 9-11, 2017
Limited places available
All accommodation, meals and spiritual guidance included!
Meet a new community of like-minded women
Reconnect with your faith
Allow your spirituality to mature and grow