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Fifteen retreatants recently attended a 5-day silent retreat at the St. Augustine Center in Conway, Michigan. The retreat was completely silent, except for time spent with one’s spiritual director each day. Each retreatant was free to decide the shape of silence: some took long solitary walks on nature trails or the beach; some took their souls for a meditative stroll on the labyrinth; others meditated on scriptures suggested by their spiritual directors; and some journaled, drew, colored, or painted. And prayer was central throughout.

What went on inside was also unique to each retreatant, as they listened for the Spirit’s whispers with open and receptive hearts. As one of the directors, it was an honor and a blessing to watch a person’s experience of the holy deepen and grow. Our souls became sanctuaries for the Spirit’s presence and all were nourished by stillness.

Toward the end of the retreat, participants were free to engage with one another and share observations about their time in silence. Such a gift.

Retreat facilitators, pictured at front, included: Esther Yff-Prins, Diane Zerfas OP, Retreat Facilitators and Spiritual Directors included: Esther Yff-Prins, Sr. Diane Zerfas OP, and Mary Nausadis. We are so pleased to walk with Dominican Associates Esther and Mary, who have been formed in the Dominican traditions of spirituality at Dominican Center Marywood at Aquinas College.

Photos in Conway, Michigan by Megan McElroy OP, from the Archives of Dominican Sisters ~ Grand Rapids.