Mt. Irenaeus Invites Friars to June Contemplative Days

Jocelyn Thomas Friar News

WEST CLARKSVILLE, N.Y. — The friars of Holy Name Province, as well as those from all OFM provinces in the United States, are invited to the upcoming Mt. Irenaeus Contemplative Days. The program is being offered June 24 to 28 at the Franciscan Mountain Retreat, less than an hour’s drive from St. Bonaventure University. As in the past, the event will include reflection, discussion, meals and time for individual walking and contemplation.

In a letter to friars across the United States, Daniel Riley, OFM, director of Mt. Irenaeus and guardian of its Holy Peace Friary, said that “knowing all of us are called in different ways to review our lives and that our OFM provinces are in a time of conversation about the future, we welcome friars from around the United States to join us for this special time.”

The gathering, whose theme is “Hearts Listening to the Signs of the Times: Living Franciscan Contemplative Life Today,” will begin late on Monday afternoon with the Eucharist and conclude on Friday, Dan said.

“Aware that even we who live here at the Mountain have our own unique journey into what we call our Four Sisters of Wisdom — silence, solitude, simplicity and service — we welcome your own hunger for this life and your own practice,” Dan added.

Most of each day will be open for participants to read, rest and roam around Mt. Irenaeus, which comprises more than 400 acres of trails, woodland, ponds, and open space, as well as the chapel, hermitages, and the large timber-framed common building known as the House of Peace.

Taking a walk and taking in the sights and sounds of this rural retreat are among the guidelines for visits to Mt. Irenaeus that can be found on the retreat center’s website. As The New York Times story titled “Not Much of a Mountain, but the Real View’s Upward,” noted, “There are few formalities and much hospitality” at Mt. Irenaeus.

Friars interested in participating are asked to contact Mt. Irenaeus at 585-973-2470 or by April 22 to reserve.

The more than 25-year-old Mt. Irenaeus also offers a variety of other programs and activities for visitors.  From September until May, the ministry and life of the Mountain are open mainly to students of St. Bonaventure University, according to the university’s website. Podcasts by Dan, as well as other reflections, can be found on the Mt. Irenaeus website.

 Jocelyn Thomas is director of communications for Holy Name Province.