A privileged retreat

December 19, 2022 in News

“Everyone may have to deal with different traumas and hurts but really we are all the same; people who are trying our best.  On this retreat, we were given a space to slow down, share, connect with God and each other, and feel respected.” So said one of the participants who took part in the latest Ignatian Spirituality Project retreat for homeless people.

The women‘s team of the ISP held its third weekend retreat for women in transition from homelessness, from Saturday until Sunday, 26/27 November 2022. Five women in hostel accommodation, some in recovery from addiction, joined the team in the quiet country retreat centre of An Tobar, just outside Navan town. One of the women had been on the summer retreat and wanted to return along with a friend. She also offerd to fill the ‘witness’ slot and  shared her personal recovery from addiction story with the group  

The ISP team of Christine Halloran, Ber Danaher, Susan Jones, and Pat Coyle, also welcomed new member Michelle Russell. The retreat followed the format of previous men’s and womens’ ISP retreats with all participants sharing their personal stories of fear and trust, courage and hope. They also prayed together during shared reflection time and took part in the healing liturgy of ‘letting go’ on Saturday afternoon.

The Saturday evening life journey sharing through art and music was once again great fun but also produced some wonderful symbolic mandalas from all involved. (See photo)

Commenting on her experience Christine Halloran said, ” What we as a team have come to realize is that we are simply ‘God’s instruments’ on these retreats. We work at providing physical comforts like good food, comfortable beds, and a safe and sacred space for women in recovery to come together. Then the Holy Spirit takes care of their spiritual needs and ours!”

“This is my second retreat and once again I am just full of gratitude to the all the women who took part and who shared so deeply and generously,” says Pat Coyle, adding “It was a privilege to be with the women who are so courageous in their struggle with homelessness or addiction.”