After the positive experience of RODS’ first ever retreat abroad in 2013 at Mount Melleray in Ireland, our community decided to this year again hold its annual retreat abroad, but this time closer to home – in Italy. Following a recommendation from an Italian member of CLC, contact was established with the Centro di Spiritualitá Santa Dorotea in Asolo (Treviso) (http://www.smsd.it/asolo) run by the Sisters of St Dorothy of Venice founded by Don Luca Passi. The sisters accepted our application to hold our retreat there on 8-13 September 2015, with the proviso of keeping the silence due to a concurrent course of spiritual exercises being held for another group.
Although half our community eventually could not make it due to different commitments, the rest of us (Fuvvy and Maryann, Ian and Clare, Mario and Carmen, and Edward), together with Fr Alfred Micallef SJ as our retreat director, travelled first to the Veneto for a few days’ holiday. This proved to be a wise decision as it helped us to wind down from our daily commitments prior to starting our retreat on the 8th September. Fr Alfred focussed the retreat mainly on the second week of the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius, providing us with the relevant input twice a day to meditate upon in various quiet places in and around the retreat house set on a hill overlooking the surrounding beautiful green valleys around Asolo.
Mario R Sammut, Coordinator, RODS