One-Day Retreat at St. Patrick-St. Anthony Church, Hartford, CT
Oct 29 2016 1:30PM to 5:30 PM
St. Patrick-St. Anthony Church
285 Church St
Hartford CT, 06103
A beautiful day at St. Patrick-St. Anthony Church in Hartford, CT…
Our team of parents welcomed retreatants to the Franciscan Center for our fourth annual retreat on the morning of October 29th. Maureen Foley-Roy, Caitlin’s mother, and Mary Kay Shanley, Jimmy’s mother, created a warm and inviting environment with beautiful autumn decorations for all of the tables, including the momento table, and then assisted the arriving parents with placing their sacred items on the table and making nametags declaring the names of the parents and their children. Meanwhile, Jean Jarvis, Steven’s mother, and Janet Boyd, Amy and Kelly’s mother, prepared coffee and other drinks and served the arriving parents homemade coffeecakes baked by St. Patrick-St. Anthony (SPSA) parishioners. With returning retreatants greeting each other warmly, a comfortable, trusting atmosphere was quickly created.
After gathering in the Center, the parents walked through the garden and as we entered the church we heard the cantor’s beautiful voice, singing “Holy Ground”, calling us forward into the chapel for our opening prayer service. Accompanied by “Light a Candle”, we lit a candle for each of our children.
Back in the Center, Fr. Tom offered a reflection on the Emmaus story (Luke 24) and Lucan parables, illustrating Christ is always with us and that no one is lost. The parents took it from there, sharing the difficulties of, and learning from, their journeys.
After lunch, prepared by House of Bread and served by SPSA Hospitality Ministers, Fr. Tom sent us off on our Emmaus walk through Bushnell Park on a glorious fall day. When we returned, parents rotated through three activities: small group discussions, healing touch and a meditation with clay.
We came back together to celebrate Mass in the chapel and then enjoyed each others’ company over dinner in the friary. The day concluded in the chapel with a final prayer service that included anointing, laying on of hands and, for the 11 first-time retreatants, enfolding in prayer shawls made by SPSA prayer shawl ministers, including parent Joan Casinghino.
As we gathered to collect our candles and momentos, parents expressed gratitude for the day with many are already looking forward to next year.
In the meantime, our monthly parent group continues. We will meet on the following Sundays at 3:15 in the Franciscan Center. All are welcome.