Renew Retreat 2023 ~ Schedule Yourself or a Group for an In-Person Retreat
- Thursday 06/01/2023 - Saturday 12/16/2023
- 9:00am - 4:00pm EST
Human beings have received from the Creator a common gift: nature.
~ Pope Francis
Are you feeling a desire to be present to yourself and others within the natural world? How might you fill a need for yourself to welcome the sights and sounds of creation and allow God’s cradle of compassionate creatures to hold you as you rest and respond to this meaningful call?
The Renew Retreat is an individual or group retreat that is a self-guided contemplative pilgrimage. The gentle Christian practice of using scripture and prayerful prompts aligned with the four elements — fire, water, earth, and air — will help guide your journey into and beyond the garden in ways that strengthen your awareness of creation as a renewable resource, energizing your beingness, and the world around you.
Immerse your mind, body and soul in the St. Francis Sculpture Garden Renew Retreat and allow your spirit to be led to notice where God’s desires align with your deepest longings. Afterward, plan to unpack your new awareness with a certified Spiritual director through Dominican Center Marywood at Aquinas College. There you will find a sacred space where you and your spiritual director will encounter God’s presence and share renewed realizations.
Allow the contemplative path marked by St. Francis sculptures, to be a path on your journey toward healing and wholeness. The St. Francis of Assisi Sculpture Garden in Grand Rapids, Michigan is a peaceful scenic sanctuary for the senses. As you walk the paths along the wooded trails, you are led into the pace and rhythms of the natural world. Water, earth, fire, and air greet you — each element of nature a reminder of the peaceful relationship between living organisms and their physical environment.
Do not forget your purpose and destiny as God's creature. What you are in his sight is what you are and nothing more. Remember that when you leave this earth, you can take nothing that you have received … but only what you have given; a full heart enriched by honest service, love, sacrifice, and courage.
~ St. Francis of Assisi
Sit a while on a hand-carved bench, a wonder breathed into being by God the Creator artist and the human artist whose hands crafted that which gives you pause and rest. The beautifully crafted bronze statues of St. Francis of Assisi along the trail, depicts St. Francis in postures of prayer, meditation, preaching, and interacting with nature. Each sculpture setting welcomes you to quiet reflection. Storyboards share the life of this inspirational saint whose writings and teachings about ecology and animals continue to inspire people of all faiths.
We will begin at Dominican Center Marywood at Aquinas College, transition to the St. Francis of Assisi Sculpture Garden, and return to Dominican Center Marywood.
Spiritual direction, an individual session or for a group, is part of this retreat experience. Following time in the St. Francis of Assisi Sculpture Garden, we will return to Dominican Center Marywood at Aquinas College for spiritual direction. This experience highlights contemplative engagement in the natural world and helps orient our spirits to engage with — and rest in — the Divinity of the creation that is inside and all around us. With the help of a Spiritual Director, learn to seek and listen to the action of the Spirit and respond to it in meaningful, heart-centered ways.
Individual session: $60
Group session for 4 retreatants: $160
AVAILABLE FOR INDIVIDUALS and SMALL GROUPS BY APPOINTMENT
To schedule your group, please contact us by calling 616-514-3325, by emailing us at email@example.com or by completing this brief questionnaire.