Retreat for Camaldolese Oblates & Friends

Saint Francis Retreat Center in San Juan Bautista

SAN JUAN BAUTISTA – On Friday, 30 September through Sunday, 2 October 2022, the 10th Annual Retreat for Camaldolese Oblates and Friends will take place at the Saint Francis Retreat Center, 549 Mission Vineyard Road, and online via Zoom.

The retreat will begin on Friday, with an informal time to settle in, unwind, and connect with friends, followed by dinner and an evening “Poetry Jam”.

On Saturday, Tessa Bielicki will offer the morning keynote address: Five Stages Along the Contemplative Path. Using Saint Teresa of Avila as a model, Ms. Bielicki will help identify movements along the contemplative path. Breakout sessions will allow attendees to further explore this topic together.

On Saturday afternoon, Fr. Dave Denny will explore Poetry as Lectio Divina that may awaken the vast mystery of the earth, each other, and the Divine. This session will be followed by an opportunity for prompted spiritual writing.

Following dinner, there will be an opportunity to connect with one another during an evening wine and dessert reception.

On Sunday, attendees will share Collatio and Paula Huston will facilitate a panel discussion with the keynote speakers.

Mass will be celebrated daily, along with the hours of Lauds, Vespers, Compline. Silence will be observed, to foster an atmosphere of contemplation. Ample time will be allowed for personal prayer and reflection, for hiking, journaling, and/or rest.

Yoga, Chi Gong, and Meditation will also be offered.

Keynote speakers Tessa Bielicki and Fr. David Denny have worked together for almost 50 years. They began as Carmelite monks in the Spiritual Life Institute, where they gave retreats and workshops. They subsequently taught A History of Christian Mysticism and Desert Spirituality: from the Middle East to the American Southwest at Colorado College. They left monastic life in 2005 and created the Desert Foundation, and now live in neighboring “urban hermitages” in Tucson, Arizona, “in the spirit of the Christian Mothers and Desert Fathers”.

Single or double occupancy rooms are available. All events, meals, and use of the grounds and facilities are included in in-person ticket prices, for both single (private) or double occupancy (shared) rooms. Tickets are limited in number and now available on a first come, first served basis. To purchase tickets, click here.

For more information, please email the event coordinator.

Call for Poetry Submissions: All registered retreat participants are invited to submit their spiritual poetry for consideration. Submissions are welcome from all poets, including novice and published participants. Because the selection process entails a blind submission, please email two copies of each poem, one with and one without a byline. A maximum of 3 poems may be submitted for consideration. We will invite the selected poets to read their poems during the Spoken Word Event on Friday evening. (Selected poems by online participants will be read live on your behalf.)

Additional submitted poems will be selected to be included in a Spoken Word document, Poems from the 10th Annual Friends and Oblates of New Camaldoli Retreat, which will be emailed to all participants following the retreat. The submission deadline is 1 August 2022. Please send 2 copies of each poem (one with and one without a byline) via email.

Retreat Scholarship Fund: Please consider donating to the Oblates and Friends Retreat Scholarship Fund so that oblates and friends who may otherwise not have the financial means to participate in the retreat, and who apply for full or partial scholarships and are selected, may attend. Please email for information and donation instructions.

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