The purpose of the retreat was to deepen the pupils’ relationship with God. It was an opportunity to spend time away from their everyday environment and come to know God and themselves, more intimately.
The prayer stations reflected the theme of the day, “Finding God in all things; raising awareness that God is present in all things; in the small, the simple, in creation and in our own brokenness.”
The Mercy, Meditation and finding God in Others prayer stations included elements of Ignatian spirituality and our Jesuit mission such as the Examen, Imaginative prayer and being Men and Women for Others by seeing Christ in all people. Experiencing God’s presence in the beauty of nature prompts us to care for our common home (Finding God through our senses) and we can give expression to that through art.
We are very grateful to Mary Farmer who led the retreat on the day and to Franciscans, Fr Chris McBride and Sisters Faustina and Therese.
“It was a privilege and thoroughly enjoyable working with Year 8s Rudiments and all the school staff, including Clare at Whalley Abbey for the retreat day ‘Finding God in all things’. It was a full day that took much planning but it was worth all the effort . The young people were responsive, polite, engaged and prayerful in all the prayer stations. It was also wonderful to see the students trying different ways of praying, Including through guided scripture meditation, based on John’s Gospel where they heard the invitation of Jesus to ‘come and see’. The staff at Whalley Abbey were particularly impressed with the students and how they conducted themselves throughout the day around the house and grounds. What a grace , too, that the Franciscan sisters and Fr from Leeds and Bradford supported us in leading the Mercy station. A blessed day for all.” Mary Farmer
“The Franciscans explained their lives of complete service with no material rewards which was a different way of living to what we are used to. They were easy to talk to and be open with. We enjoyed being outside in the beautiful grounds with friends.” Lou and Oliver
“The “mercy” station showed that whatever we do or get wrong, God is always there to forgive us.” Charlotte
“The day was amazing!” Tilly