On Friday, February 17, 2023, forty five members of our St. Francis of Assisi family took a trip to the Mt. Alvernia Retreat center in Wappingers Falls, New York, for our annual weekend retreat.  The retreat is a time away dedicated to prayer, reflection, sharing of our faith, and fun.

Our days began and ended in prayer inspired by the Liturgy of the Hours and were filled with reflections where we were all together and time in small groups where people were able to share what our faith means in their daily life.  On Saturday there was an extended free time for quiet reflection, or a group walk around the beautiful grounds of the retreat center, or even a walk to tshe nearby Tibetan Buddhist temple.

Fr. Steve Patti, OFM, offered 4 major reflections about the spiritual life and our journey with God inspired by episodes from the life of St. Francis of Assisi.  This gave everyone a chance to learn more about our beloved patron saint and the joys and struggles he had in his own life.  Fr. Steve invited the groups to reflect on how Francis’ experiences can inspire our dedication to Christ and the Gospel today.

The retreat ended Sunday with Mass and we returned to New York renewed, refreshed and with the bonds of friendship and community strengthened.

Next year’s retreat will be January 12-14, 2024.  Save the date!

Here are some highlights of the weekend.  Thank you to Keith Kemp and Jenn Wiler for the photographs.