This week (Monday evening through Saturday evening) the community is on retreat. This is a group retreat: everyone goes to the same two conferences a day, attends Morning and Evening Prayer and Compline together and keeps general silence at meals and throughout the Mount the whole time. In between the formal gatherings there is quite a bit of time for quiet, personal reading, prayer and rest. Our oblates are welcome to attend the group gathering and many of the locals, and a few from out of town, do.
We are permitted, of course, to attend directed retreats if we wish, but these five days are obligatory for all.
One of the nicest things about retreat week for me is the Liturgy of the Hours. Each prayer time is prepared by a different group of sisters and they are full and rich, as no one is rushing off to work or evening events afterwards.
The conference director this year is a Benedictine Sister from the Midwest, Mary Collins, OSB. She is a retired theology professor from the Catholic University of America and a longtime leader in crafting Benedictine life for women in the US since Vatican II.
The over-all title of her presentations is Wisdom from the Tradition.
Mary Miller, OSB captured this beautiful display of summer on the lamppost outside of St. Scholastica Priory.