This week our Parish Retreat Planning Committee met to discuss all that will be in store for our community when we head up to the piney woods of Camp Allen at the end of March. As I reflect, I think it is quite wonderful that this weekend our youth are going to the same piney woods for the Happening Youth Retreat. When I reflect on some of the most significant spiritual experiences I have had on my path of faith, the moments that I was on some kind of retreat (in which I would include conferences and summer camp experiences) are prominent and significant.
In the Gospel reading for this coming Sunday we have the account of Jesus withdrawing from Nazareth and going to Galilee to make his home by the sea.  It is in this new place that he starts to call his disciples and throughout his ministry with them he will withdraw from the crowds to pray and reflect. There is great value in following Jesus’ example. We all need times to get away for spiritual retreat. The vacations many of us take are good for spending time with our loves ones, seeing and exploring new places, and gathering rest for our well-being. While serving some of the same goods, spiritual retreats like the one our parish will take at the end of March create space for us to intentionally be with God and be together in God’s presence. I pray you will make space in this busy life to be with the one who made you and loves you completely!