From December 25, 2020 to January 1, 2021, the Post-Novitiate community and that of the Postulancy in Quito – Ecuador, held their annual retreat.
The retreat took place in Celica in the province of Santo Domingo. This is an exceptional spot, where the only shrine dedicated to Calvary and the Passion of the Lord is located. It is a very beautiful church, and the community of Polish Benedictine sisters welcomed the friars with great warmth. The main topic of the retreat was the life of St. Francis of Assisi. Based upon the Franciscan Sources, the presenter spoke of his relationship with God, his love for the incarnation, his special bond with the Crucifixion, his Gospel life, and his experience of poverty, obedience and chastity. The reflections also spoke of his love for God, for those around him and even for creation, as well as for prayer and work. In a special way, the hearts of the participants were moved by his relationship with poverty. For St. Francis, “Lady Poverty” was not an obstacle in his life and the fulfillment of his vocation, but it was something he deeply loved. He encouraged the friars to ask for alms and to repay the generosity of their donors with the love and peace of God. His singular relationship with creation was a byproduct of his sanctification through the grace of God, and his biographers spoke of him as if he were Adam in the Garden of Paradise before the original sin.
The retreat days were filled with listening, silence and prayer. We thank God for this gift to be able to deepen our spiritual life.
Friar Michał SABATOWSKI