Thursday 25th April 2019

The annual Easter Retreat – ‘Lord, Teach us to Pray’ – took place once more from Maundy Thursday until Easter Sunday at Downside Abbey and School.

Retreatants enjoyed a stimulating and varied programme of workshops, talks and services, as well as having time for reflection and socialising. This year’s retreat was truly a family affair, with a large number of children attending. Thanks go to Emily Andrewartha and her team of helpers. who helped care for and organise activities for our young retreatants, and to Brother John, who took them on their own dedicated Cross Walk in the glorious Spring sunshine. 

Dom Michael, Dom Anselm, Dom Dominic and Members of the St Scholastica Community offered talks on different aspects of prayer. The great liturgies of each day were the high points, of course, and we are grateful to Rachel Bevan, David Lawson and the choir for the marvellous music, and to all the servers who gave so generously of their time and energy. The liturgy is, of course, of supreme importance in a Benedictine community, but the opportunities to get to know different people and to share our faith are also important aspects of this retreat. 

We were also delighted to witness a baptism and reception into full communion with the Catholic Church at the Vigil. The Vigil began with the Easter fire outside, this time arranged to perfection by Micha from the Klosterzeit programme, and it was a relief not to have to use a candle guard for the paschal candle.