Saint Francis Retreat Center News
Issue: September, 2016                                                                                                         Volume No. 2
2017 January & February Special Events
Fr Guerric


Welcome to the first edition of St. Francis Retreat Center News . This is an effort to respond to those who have had a good experience at our retreat center this past year. We would like to let you know, when we start booking six months in advance of the event, what special events you can expect to build on your previous experience. This highlights these events and other news from the retreat center. If this is more information than you desire you can unsubscribe at the bottom of this document.
Fr. Guerric Heckel, ocso
Director, Retreat Center
  • January 16 - 20, 2017 Directed Retreat - Initial Elders Retreat (No Online Bookings)
The Institute of Contemplative Aging at Mepkin Abbey schedules several retreats a year for those in the second half of life (those 60 and older).  During the retreat, contemplative practices are explored as a way to welcome the inner life of self-development and spiritual growth as we move into elderhood.  Through sharing of common experiences and fears of aging, participants have the opportunity to view aging as a gift and an opportunity for growth rather than decline.

(Email: guerricheckel@gmail.com to request a registration form)

A suggested donation for this retreat is $350 for weekdays and $300 for weekends.  Because of the demand for this retreat, a pre-registration fee is required to ensure a space.  Please send $200 to: Initial Elders Retreat, 1098 Mepkin Abbey Rd, Moncks Corner, SC 29461. (Make check payable to Mepkin Abbey)  



Directed Retreat - Initial Elders Retreat Team:
Kathy Tosney,  Mary and Christian McNamara,
Lyndall Hare,  Fr. Guerric
  • January 20, 2017 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM Mepkin Abbey Library
    Public Lecture - Your Second to Last Chapter by Paul Wilkes
Register online at www.mepkinabbey.org - $10.00 payable at the door)

What I call “Your Second to Last Chapter” could be the longest chapter in a lot of lives…no major financial worries for many, kids gone, but that something stirring inside that you still can make a difference. 

I believe this is a time of life when we can reawaken that idealism we all felt at one time in our lives…and live it out.  We need another kind of paycheck.  Something that money cannot buy.
 
That is what I write about in my new book:

Your Second to Last Chapter
Creating a Meaningful Life on Your Own Terms
 
I began to see that these years can be a great new adventure. No longer career-driven, but purpose- and mission-driven to somehow make this world a better place.
 
For me, it happened looking into the face of an orphan girl in India, cruelly blinded to make her a "better beggar." That's when I founded Homes of Hope India.  Ten years later, with 800 orphan girls safe and going to school in our six houses, I can’t quite believe the miracle of it.
 
Click Short Video  where I talk about the book. 


Paul Wilkes is one of American's most respected writers on religious belief and personal spirituality. He is the author of twenty books, and the host, writer, director, or producer of seven PBS documentaries.
Paul lectures across the country about the role of religious belief in individual lives as well as the place and impact of religion in public life. As a commentator on religious issues, he has appeared on all major television networks.
Author of Beyond The Walls: Monastery Wisdom for Everyday Life,  based on his experience at Mepkin Abbey
  • January 23 - 27, 2017 Directed Retreat - Urban Contemplatives 
This retreat deals with: What is a contemplative experience? How is it cultivated through contemplative practice? And, is it possible to live a more contemplative life in the circumstances in which we live?  This retreat, besides taking individuals, is a wonderful opportunity to bring four or five persons who would like to form a more intentional prayer and reflection community.

Facilitators: Fr. Guerric Heckel and Marcy Walsh

Registration fee is $350 with $200 to be sent upon receiving your confirmation. Please send $200 to: Urban Contemplatives Retreat, 1098 Mepkin Abbey Rd, Moncks Corner, SC 29461 (Make check payable to Mepkin Abbey)     
  • January 30 - February 3, 2017 Directed Retreat - Women on Whose Shoulders We Stand: Dialoguing with Women in the Scriptures

Focus of the Retreats January 30-February 3, and February 3 – 6, 2017 
The focus of the retreats will be to become acquainted with women in the Old Testament.  Given the opportunity to engage in dialogue with some of the women, the participants will come to see the women as role models for our times.  Many of the women in the Old Testament served as midwives, weavers, intercessors and choreographers – much the same as women today.   Interest in genealogy and family history appears to be on the rise in our society.  So who were the female ancestors of Jesus? 

The first session, January 30 – February 3, will be devoted to women in the Old Testament as leaders, midwives, choreographers, weavers and intercessors.

Registration fee is $350 with $200 to be sent upon receiving your confirmation.  Please send $200 to: Women Whose Shoulders We Stand Retreat, 1098 Mepkin Abbey Rd, Moncks Corner, SC 29461 (Make check payable to Mepkin Abbey)   
  • February 3 - February 6, 2017 Directed Retreat - Women on Whose Shoulders We Stand: Dialoguing Women in the Scriptures

The second session, February 3 – 6, the participants will come to know the foremothers of Jesus as identified in Matthew’s genealogy (Matt 1:1-17).    

Registration fee is $300 with $200 to be sent upon receiving your confirmation. Please send $200 to: Women Whose Shoulders We Stand Retreat, 1098 Mepkin Abbey Rd, Moncks Corner, SC 29461 (Make check payable to Mepkin Abbey)  
Our presenters for the "Women on Whose Shoulders We Stand: Dialoguing with Women in the Scriptures


Gay Rowzie, HM loves stories and storytelling.  She believes that the stories of the women in Scripture help us to discover who and whose we are.    She has ministered at the diocesan and parish levels, in education and health care and is currently living in Rock Hill, SC leading retreat programs for women.


Susan Schorsten, HM has a great interest in women in the Church and has found that getting to know the women in our Scriptures and praying with them has been a great inspiration and source of encouragement to her.  She has served for many years in leadership positions within her own religious congregation, with the Diocese of Charleston, SC and in health care ministry.  She joins with Sister Gay in leading retreat programs for women.
  • February 10 - 13, 2017 Directed Retreat - Urban Contemplatives 
This retreat deals with: What is a contemplative experience? How is it cultivated through contemplative practice? And, is it possible to live a more contemplative life in the circumstances in which we live?   This retreat, besides taking individuals, is a wonderful opportunity to bring four or five persons who would like to form a more intentional prayer and reflection community.

Facilitators: Fr. Guerric Heckel, Will Bryant and Barbara Pendergrast

Registration fee is $300 with $200 to be sent upon receiving your confirmation. Please send $200 to: Urban Contemplatives Retreat, 1098 Mepkin Abbey Rd, Moncks Corner, SC 29461 (Make check payable to Mepkin Abbey)     
  • February 17 - 20, 2017 Directed Retreat - A Single Line Opens the Way: Joining Poetry with Trust to Nourish and Deepen Contemplative Practice 
With Sally Z. Hare and John Fox 

The heart is a treasury in which God’s mysteries are stored; seek the purpose of both worlds through the heart for that is the point of it. 

Lahiji Sufi Poet 

One line or a few lines within a poem can stun and upend your way of seeing life. It can help you recover and reclaim a way of seeing, break up acceptance of the status-quo, or, put more fiercely, a single line can tear down a pre-fabricated understanding of life. 

At the very same moment of this undoing, that line or few lines in a poem can transmit an energy of wisdom and love with the enduring capacity to resonate with who you are at deeper levels of being. 

While it could be something transcendent, we are not speaking only about the evocation of ecstasy, something other-worldly and sublime. Such a line might give you a deep grounding, a nuanced resonance; something that, while appearing plain, reveals, upon reflection, a reality exquisitely simple and direct: your still small voice within. 

Drawing upon the deep work of the circle of trust and poetic medicine, Sally and John will nourish and deepen a contemplative practice that invites a resonance with that voice. Actually, we will do this together! 

We will commit to:

         ✧ Consciously create a safe place for a soul voice & presence to emerge, 

         ✧ Experiment by making our own poems, 

       ✧ Slow down to listen within the still silence of Mepkin Abbey. 
Let’s explore both of these worlds during this retreat… the line that evokes the sublime, the line that informs the heart here and now in a grounded way. 
Sally Z. Hare is a teacher and a learner and a student of community. She earned her doctorate at the University of South Carolina and has completed post-doctoral work in settings as diverse as the Harvard University Leadership Institute, the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society, and the Institute of Noetic Science’s Healing Arts of Bali. She is president of Still Learning, Inc., and Singleton Distinguished Professor Emerita at Coastal Carolina University. She has worked for two decades with the national Center for Courage & Renewal and facilitates the Courage to Teach and the Courage to Lead programs as well as Circles of Trust retreats across the United States, Canada and Australia. 
John Fox, CPT is a poet and certified poetry therapist. He is author of Poetic Medicine: The Healing Art of Poem-Making and Finding What You Didn't Lose: Expressing Your Truth and Creativity Through Poem-Making. His work is featured in the PBS documentary, Healing Words: Poetry and Medicine. Since 2000 he has been adjunct associate professor at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco, California. John is a frequent speaker at the international conferences of the International Association of Sufism. He has taught throughout the United States and internationally in Ireland, England, Israel, Kuwait, Germany, United Arab Emirates, South Korea and Canada. John is President of The Institute for Poetic Medicine, a nonprofit he founded in 2005. John lives in Mountain View, California.

  • February 22, 2017 Bon Secours St. Francis Hospital, Charleston, SC 9:30 AM - 3:00 PM
    Legacy Letters: Leaving a Path of Wisdom and Love
    Presenter: Carla Vogel 
A Legacy Letter is a preservable document that communicates values, wisdom, history, stories and love from one generation to another. In this lively participatory workshop you will learn the basic principles of legacy letters, their history and their foundation—blessings. Through guided storytelling and writing practices we will explore the legacies we’ve received from earlier generations. The workshop will culminate in a celebratory sharing of our unique legacy discoveries.

The program is free with a complimentary lunch but advance registration is required.
Call 843.402.2273

  • February 23, 2017, 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM Mepkin Abbey Library

    Blessings: The Heart of Legacy Letters
    Presenter: Carla Vogel 
A Legacy Letter is a preservable document that communicates values, wisdom, history, stories and love from one generation to another. In this inspirational lecture enhanced with stories you will learn the basic principles of legacy letters, their history and most importantly their foundation—blessings. Transforming instructions into blessings is a powerful act.  The lecture will culminate in a guided writing practice where you will create your own unique blessing.

Register online at www.mepkinabbey.org -  $10 payable at the door.   


Carla Vogel is a professional storyteller, writer and educator. She is a Certified Legacy Letter Facilitator with Life-Legacies and Celebrations of Life.  Since 2005 she has guided individuals and families in writing legacy letters through Hospice, Senior Centers, spiritual communities and more.   She is presently pursuing her Masters of Divinity degree from Iliff School of Theology in Denver, Colorado

  • February 24 - 27, 2017 Directed Retreat - Initial Elders Retreat (No Online Bookings)
The Institute of Contemplative Aging at Mepkin Abbey schedules several retreats a year for those in the second half of life (those 60 and older).  During the retreat, contemplative practices are explored as a way to welcome the inner life of self-development and spiritual growth as we move into elderhood.  Through sharing of common experiences and fears of aging, participants have the opportunity to view aging as a gift and an opportunity for growth rather than decline.

(Email: guerricheckel@gmail.com to request a registration form)

A suggested donation for this retreat is $350 for weekdays and $300 for weekends.  Because of the demand for this retreat, a pre-registration fee is required to ensure a space.  Please send $200 to: Initial Elders Retreat, 1098 Mepkin Abbey Rd, Moncks Corner, SC 29461 (Make check payable to Mepkin Abbey)  



Directed Retreat - Initial Elders Retreat Team:
Kathy Tosney,  Mary and Christian McNamara,
Lyndall Hare,  Fr. Guerric

Abbey-Gram





“All the animals except humans know that the principle business of life is to enjoy it."
--Samuel Butler

Mepkin Abbey
1098 Mepkin Abbey Rd.
Moncks Corner, SC 29461

Phone: (843) 761-8509 Opt 1
Fax: (843) 761-6719