Sunday, October 30, 2011

Monastery Retreat {Westminster Abbey, BC}

Joseph, Peter and Zachary at Westminster Abbey, Mission, BC, Canada

Recently our nuclear family of 5 escaped to a foreign country for a much needed two-day retreat at Westminster Abbey, a Benedictine Monastery in Mission, BC.  We coordinated respite care for the three little ones, leaving Ezra to care for house and pets and encouraging him again to get a passport for freedom to travel. 

Tim and the boys on a campus stroll with Father Peter, heading toward the seminarians' street hockey zone. 

Father Peter plays the harp for us in his office at Christ the King Seminary, Mission, BC, Canada.

Last year our family retreat at the monastery occurred just before the start of school, but this year we visited while the seminaries were in session.  Our boys accepted invitations to attend seminary classes for a day.  Peter and Joseph sat in with the eighth grade boys for religion, math, history, language arts, science, voice, and PE.  Peter greatly enjoyed the classroom experience (his first ever).   Zachary attended college seminary metaphysics, ethics, and sociology; with metaphysics being his top pick.

Joseph, Zachary and Peter dish up supper in the guesthouse dining hall at Westminster Abbey, BC.

The monks' hospitality surpassed any four star hotel, and we scored the bishops' room; a corner suite  with a sitting parlour.  We were fed like kings (plus queen), eating family style in the guesthouse dining room.  At every meal, one monk would join us as the host and server.  We greatly enjoyed their company and learned all sorts of interesting things during meals.  Over supper we discovered that one of Father Basil's nieces had attended Catholic grade school with Tim.  Small world!

Joseph, Peter, Tim and Zachary with the church steeple/bell tower looming

A gorgeous environment of prayerful peace, the monastery settles the soul.  Chanted Psalms at prayer times in the church, early morning Mass, melodious bells summoning us to praise God and worship with the monks... What a breath of fresh air for our family!

Saint Benedict,
Pray for us!

1 comment:

Catherine Grace said...

So happy for you! Looks like when I visit the PNW again, I'll have to take a visit to Westminster AND Shaw :)