By Suzanne Henderson
The 2019 Annual Lay Carmelite Retreat was held at Enders Island in June. Forty-five retreatants from communities throughout Connecticut and New York enjoyed four conferences on the Psalms presented by Father Francis Amodio, Provincial Delegate for the Province of St. Elias in Middletown, New York.
“Jesus prayed the Psalms, and as a Church we pray the Psalms as we pray the Liturgy of the Hours. This is the prayer of the Church. The Psalms are written by and for the people of God,” stated Father Francis. As Carmelites, we are called to meditate on the law of the Lord, which is the Word of God, as outlined in the Rule of St. Albert, chapter 10: "...meditating day and night on the law of The Lord and being vigilant in prayer, unless otherwise lawfully occupied."
This year, we were able to experience God at Ender’s Island, with its beautiful view of the water, coupled with the quiet, and its serene beauty. Attendees were called to reflect and recollect on the experience of silence.
“Our Lay Carmelite Retreat on Enders Island was truly inspired by the Holy Spirit and was amazing,” stated Karen Szalkiewicz, “Being with our Carmelite brothers and sisters is only an experience that can be felt from your head to the heart.”
Carmel Brown, expressed that “there is no better place on earth than Enders Island to appreciate the marvel of God’s beauty, to restore our faith in God, and to realize why we became Carmelites.” Maria Paterno described the retreat “as gorgeous and peaceful. Seeing the beauty and vastness of the ocean makes you appreciate all that God has created for us. Being together in community with our Carmelite family was truly a blessing.”
Along with Father Francis, the group was blessed to have another Carmelite Friar at the retreat, Father Nicholas Blackwell, who delivered homilies for the Saturday and Sunday masses.
The Lay Carmelites are part of the Third Order branch of the Carmelite Order. Lay Carmelites promise to live the Gospel in the contemplative spirit of Carmel including the practice of prayer in all its forms, the Divine Office and Lectio Divina, as well as the other elements of the order’s charism—fraternal community and service. There are communities in Connecticut: Groton, Middletown, Wethersfield, Waterbury, Shelton, and Danbury. New members are always welcome.
We are looking forward to our 2020 Retreat, which will be held on Enders Island on June 12-14. For further information, please contact Suzanne Henderson, Regional Coordinator, at email@example.com.