On a snowy afternoon in April,
( a typical Vermont spring day)
eight men from the Burlington area of Vermont came for a men's retreat. The group were ages 30 t0 50-ish and came with energy and enthusiasm.
The title of this retreat was "We Are Redeemed" and styled after a sort of spiritual boot camp where we all took our turns in talking, sharing leading prayers and even shared in clean up duties in the kitchen.
(Though no one could have replaced our cook; he did every meal and each one was delicious!!)
We all led talks on the vocations men have in life, as fathers, husbands, workers, etc. These were all heartfelt discussion in which we all delved into what Christ is telling us what our duties are, as Christian men. Our first talk was lead by the Priest who joined us to offer confessions after his talk and dinner.
Several times we would share a knowing laugh as we talked about the many challenges living our vocations face when smacked up against the "popular culture".
As time wore on and we spent more time together we began to form a "band of brothers" seeing how each of us were dealing with many of the same struggles and even fears living out our vocations, and in that understanding we drew inspiration from each other as well.
Many times after we finished these talks we would join in for a sing-a-long of hymns or folks songs and always had good fun doing it!
We watched a film, "Saint and Soldiers"
and then there was more, prayer, adoration, more fellowship, more fantastic food from our cook
and even games of skill, or more like games of no skill but lots of laughs.
After the weekend was over we said our goodbyes and made plans to see each other for continued spiritual boot camps again soon.
It was a great weekend for us to rediscover our role as men in this society and share that desire to live according to God's will with each other.
Something every husband, father, son could do with more often.
Thanks to the "We Are Redeemed" group, see you soon.