We've been on retreat the last week or so!
Father John Sica, O.P., gave us a retreat on the theme of the Image of God. He used many examples taken from the lives of our own Dominican saints, which we found especially fruitful for meditation. In a nod to our prioress, Sr. Mary Margaret, he gave one conference using St. Margaret of Hungary as an exemplar for the Dominican nuns to follow. Of course, one would need to be prudent in this regard, because while Margaret was generous, self-sacrificing, humble, joyful, pious--all things a good Dominican nun should be--she also tended to disdain things like baths and clean habits. Obviously the source must be considered when imitating most saints of centuries past!
In addition to Father's conferences, we enjoyed a few days of "silent" retreat, which has become a feature many of us enjoy. Since the schedule is more free, we are able to spend our time in prayer, lectio, and other activities for a much longer period than usual.
Father John is a Dominican friar from St. Joseph's province (or, the eastern province). He has been living at Holy Rosary Priory in Houston the last two years attending classes at the University of St. Thomas. He has come before to give classes and to make his own personal retreat, so he was not entirely a stranger. We were especially lucky to get him for our retreat in these times of pandemic. He drove straight from Houston to Lufkin and always practiced social distancing when he was around us. It is always such a joy to get to know another of our Dominican friars!
We emerged from our retreat spiritually refreshed and ready to return to our daily work and routine. So far none of us has contracted COVID-19, although our chances are probably smaller because we don't get out much. Still, we continue to pray for a speedy end to the pandemic--with a vaccine, or some other help--and we pray for all of you in the world who are struggling so much more than we are. This was an important intention during our retreat.
It is our privilege to pray for you, always and at all times!