Going on Faith

AUG-SEP 2016

The Magazine for faith-based travel planners.

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going on faith [ august | september 2016 ] 32 MONASTERIES AND CONVENTS O F F E R C O N T E M P L A T I V E M E E T I N G O P P O R T U N I T I E S BY R AC H E L C A RT E R T he word "retreat" can be a verb meaning to withdraw or to abandon, usually in a time of distress, or it can be a noun that means a haven or a sanctuary. For those on retreat at monasteries and convents, the word can carry both meanings: escaping from the blaring, buzzing, busyness of the world to a place that offers refuge. Groups that want to gather at a monastery or a convent can do so for a day visit, an overnight stay or a multiday retreat, and spend hours com- muning with God, nature and one another. Many of the communities emphasize hospitality to visitors, stewardship of the Earth and respect for all living creatures, and those values carry over to meetings there. "When people drive through our gates, they often say there's a peace that comes over them," said Sister Paula Damiano of the Sisters of Providence of St. Mary-of-the-Wood, adding, "I think that's what people are looking for in our world today more than anything — peace." SISTERS OF PROVIDENCE OF ST. MARY-OF-THE-WOODS TERRE HAUTE, INDIANA When St. Mother Theodore Guerin was canonized in 2006, the Sisters of Providence of St. Mary-of-the-Woods, northwest of Terre Haute, Indiana, were told they needed to build a permanent shrine for their founder. The shrine opened in October 2014, and "that's when we began to see so many people coming for tours, workshops and retreats," Damiano said. The sisters welcomed 5,000 visitors last year. The sisters offer both guided Courtesy Sisters of Providence The ornate decorations at the shrine of St. Mary-of-the- Woods in Indiana took more than 20 years to complete. P E A C E & P E R S P E C T I V E

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