Going on Tuesday to Holy Cross Monastery to be part of a three person leader team. We have over 20 signed up for the workshop. Exciting.
Holy Cross was a special place for me for almost 30 years before we started having workshops there. I took members of St. John's there for a retreat for over a decade and took some folks from the Cluster Churches a few years ago. Sometimes I've gone by myself or for one of their programs.
The ministry of the Benedictine Episcopal monks there is 'hospitality'--and they're darn good at it.
One of the first times I was there with St. John's folks, at the end of Compline, the last of the 7 services of the day, three of the monks went over to a picture of the Virgin Mary and started chanting "Hail Mary, full of grace...."
The parishioner beside me said, under his breath, "Oh, My God!" He was a Congregationalist who married into the Episcopal church.
I patted his arm and whispered, "No, Don, God's mother...."
I also had Spiritual Direction at Holy Cross for two whole sessions.
It was the only time I ever tried spiritual direction (though I was in Jungian analysis for a dozen years). I only did it because I was tired of having younger priests look at me in horror when they'd ask me who my Spiritual Director was and I told them I didn't do it. I thought I'd give it a spin.
I met twice with one of the brothers and it wasn't bad at all. But then he up and ran off with one of the postulants and I decided I wouldn't endanger any other vocations.
(My favorite professor in college was Mr. Stasny who taught Honors English and the Great Books. I had 7 classes from him in 8 semesters which means I could have had a "minor" in Stasny-ology. He was, by the way, one of the two professors--the other was religion teacher Manfred Otto Mitzen--who nominated me for a trial year in seminary, which I received and got sidetracked on my dreams to teach American Literature in some small liberal arts college.
I knew Stasny so well that I once asked him why he didn't have a Ph.D. He looked at me askance
and answered, "my dear Bradley, who would test me?"
So when people these days ask me about my spiritual director, I look at them obliquely and ask, "my dear friend, who could direct me?)
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