Here are some photos from the last silent retreat I attended, November 2011.
Some interior details:
The chapel, where most of the talks are held.
Here is my well-appointed, modest room from last retreat. The one I am in now is identical, but the view is better ... and it’s on the first floor.
Here's the view from my room (last November).
On the grounds is a hiking trail.
These photos were taken in November 2011. The leaves were fading, the last evidence of summer and fall were quickly disappearing.
These are the gals I went on retreat with last time.
Only one of them returned with me this time.
This is my third silent retreat. I have been to one in Oshgosh, Wisconsin, and I love that place because the retreats are 4 days. They begin on Thursday evening and conclude on Sunday after lunch. At this retreat center, Bellarmine, the retreats begin on Friday evening. Three days is simply not enough. As I write this at the end of the day on Saturday, the linen baskets are out in the halls, a constant reminder that tomorrow the retreat ends. In the morning during the retreat activities, there will be a constant movement in the center with folks cleaning up their rooms, settling expenses in the retreat office, folks loading up their cars, friends smiling and hugging. There is no talking, but there is a constant bustle, and the quiet of the weekend is dismissed. Once lunch is served tomorrow, the silence ends. In the past, I have not been able to stick around for lunch. It was simply too much energy in the dining room, and I needed to decompress somewhere else.
I'm glad there is only one friend with me this time. It will be nice to review our experiences in the car ride home. We live less than two hours from here.