Eastern point retreat house
Eastern point homer
The smells of the sea gave way to the aromas of dinner: pork, potatoes, and corn on the cob. Around 30 other retreatants were already eating and chatting hurriedly, so silence will soon descend for the rest of the three-day weekend.
During the weekend retreat’s introductions, Father Jim Keegan said, “Freed from small talk and other distractions, we can better hear the inner voice.” He showed us where the library and bicycles were and suggested that we spend some time outside. “You’ll see No Trespassing signs all over the place. To laughter, he said, “Ignore them.”
Eastern Point offers two types of retreats: directed and guided. Directed retreats include regular meetings with a leader, while guided retreats include group presentations as contemplation aids. My group of six was led by Father Rick Stanley, who encouraged us to pray as “an attentiveness, a listening” to draw closer to God. We were of different religions — Protestant, Catholic, and Jewish — but in the silence, we all hoped to achieve understanding. One man was looking for advice about how to go about adopting a child. A woman clarified that she came out of a desire to feel linked to her deceased son. Several people expressed a desire to take some time away from their everyday routines in order to figure things out.
Catholic retreats 2021
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Association of eastern point residents
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Eastern point gloucester
“It is known for its sacred silence,” says Father John P. Murray, director of Gonzaga Eastern Point Retreat House, which is operated by Jesuits in an old stone mansion on the ocean in Gloucester, Massachusetts. “And most people will say that when they meet God, it is in the silence.”
Retreats last anywhere from four to thirty days and are based on the Spiritual Exercises written by Saint Ignatius of Loyola (the Jesuits’ founder) in the early 1500s. Retreatants consult with a spiritual director on a regular basis, participate in group worship and mass, and are free to pray in a chapel or in any of the house’s many cozy nooks. “Freedom is the secret to the Spiritual Exercises,” Murray says. “Inner freedom…could involve the use of music (via headphones), books, and art. As a result, we deliver a spiritual library. The Blessed Sacrament is celebrated in three chapels. The dining room has many places to sit comfortably and compose, as well as a view of the ocean.”