Mt. Irenaeus Invites Friars to Contemplative Days

Jocelyn Thomas Friar News

WEST CLARKSVILLE, N.Y. — The friars of the Mt. Irenaeus Franciscan Mountain Retreat in Western New York have invited all HNP friars to a four-day gathering this spring that will offer both shared meals and conversations as well as individual time.

The event, set for June 11 to 15, will include reflection, meals and discussion. In a letter distributed to friars last month, Daniel Riley, OFM, guardian of Holy Peace Friary, asked friars to contact him or another friar at the mountain this week to reserve a place at this gathering. An announcement that was emailed to friars early in the New Year provided a deadline of February.

Heritage and Renewal
One of the objectives of the program is to strengthen the friars’ contemplative tradition. Attendees will aim to “renew our deep capacity to re-imagine our lives as our  Order and Province are inviting us to do these days,” said Daniel.

“We invite the friars of our Province to share in this four-day gathering, exploring our Franciscan contemplative heritage by living into the new energies given us by the Spirit to help us see anew,” Dan said. ” We will enjoy  with each other our own individiual practices as well as come together for common meals and prayer and daily gatherings for conversation.”
Informal Structure
“The informality of this time in the past, and we believe this summer, stirs in us a freshness of life and opens our hearts to share some of the simple giftsof our days together,” he added.”Your Mountain brothers feel this will help us all grow as evangelizers, risking new ways of bringing Good News to others from the depths of our contemplative hearts.”

Dan said, “Almost from our beginning on the Mountain, we have gathered with Franciscan men and women to enjoy and explore the quiet of the Mountain and to learn from one another, deepening our contemplative practices.”

“No specific background or practice is required for this time, only a personal interest to share in these days with one another,” Dan said in the letter. “I envision our time together helping us to grow as evangelizers.”

Dan welcomes those with questions or ideas about the gathering to contact him at 585-973-2470 or staff member Michelle Marcellin at 716-375-2096. He said that though the official registration date had been early February,  space can be made available for friars who call up until March 9.

“Our gathering is begin held during a particulaly beautiful time of the year up here on the mountain,” he said.

This gathering is one of several friar retreats being offered this year. From Feb. 6 to 9, friars are gathering at St. Anthony Friary in Butler, N.J., at the second of two 2012 Provincial retreats. Next month, a series of eight regional Fraternal Gatherings begins.

Information about Mt Irenaeus events as well as links to the spiritual center’s blog, Facebook page and photos of a variety of scenes of the mountain can be found on the website of the 27-year old mountain retreat.

— Jocelyn Thomas is director of communications for Holy Name Province.