This past weekend, more than 50 people came for our Franciscan Living Retreat. Another half-dozen joined us for the retreat via Zoom. It was the largest group we have had for one of our sponsored retreats in many years, and that was good to see.
It was also good to see many familiar faces. Top of that list was Fr. Dan Crosby who was the retreat presenter. He was not able to be with us in person this past April, so it was wonderful to be able to welcome him back to the place he called home for many years, first when he was a student and then again as Center Director.
Many of those who came this weekend were Secular Franciscans. Some come every year for this retreat which is the weekend before the Feast of St. Francis, and some also come for the annual chapter meeting that the Secular Franciscans hold here every summer, so they are very familiar to us and to each other.
Others who were here were familiar because they are frequent visitors. Some are here often to volunteer, others come to a couple of retreats every year. A few of this weekend’s guests actually fit all three categories – Secular Franciscans, volunteers and frequent retreatants. It is always good to see them.
Of course, there were a few guests who were not as familiar. Some may have been brand new to St. Anthony’s, others perhaps have not been here in a dozen years or more, and for others this was their first visit since Covid. It is always good to see new faces, and to see once-familiar faces again. We hope they come back again soon.
Regardless if this was their first visit or their fiftieth, it was good to see all of them. We are glad they came to join us in person. They, and others like them, are the reason we all work so hard year-round to keep the doors of this holy place open.
For all the faces that were so good to see, the familiar and the new, the occasional and the frequent, we say Deo Gratias!