On June 5-16, 2023, the Province of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico celebrated its annual spiritual retreat. The retreat was conducted by the Most Reverend Gabriel Enrique MONTERO UMAÑA, OFM Conv., Bishop Emeritus of San Isidro de El General, Costa Rica, who had graciously accepted the invitation to lead the event.

The retreat took place at the María Inmaculada Friary in the State of Mexico. Since it is difficult to get all of the friars together for a week, the retreat was divided into two rounds. Half of the friars attended the first week and the rest attended the second. Bishop MONTERO spoke about Jesus and Francis, the life and works of our founder and returning to our roots. His reflection was on very simple and well-known themes, but expressed with great depth and from different angles.
Bishop MONTERO stressed one important point right from the start, namely, that the benefit to be gained from the retreat is proportional to the willingness and commitment of the participants to carry out the retreat in prayer, charity and silence, to embrace the Word of God and to search for personal conversion. Despite the difficulties of keeping silent, the friars managed to create the atmosphere needed in order to further explore the meditations they heard. Various themes were covered, namely, “Mary’s Fiat and the Incarnation”; “Fundamental Choices in the Life of Jesus and St. Francis”—a theme that invited reflection on one’s own fundamental choices; “The Beatitudes of Jesus”; and “The Beatitudes of St. Francis,” namely, the Admonitions and the vows.
As always, everyone was enriched by the fraternal fellowship they shared and the opportunity they had to meet with others for whom regular attendance is difficult due to long distances. The spiritual retreat greatly motivated the participants to continue their life of consecration to the Lord in the manner of St. Francis.