I am snowed in at my favorite coffee shop in my home town of Concordia, Kansas as I write this post. It’s cozy atmosphere, coupled with the sounds of local politicking at the back table, the smell of roasted coffee beans, and Jack Johnson softly playing in the background takes me to a grounded space. It is within this cozy, grounded space that I have time to meditate on the upcoming weekend at the Manna House of Prayer.
This weekend, along with Sister Julie Christensen, we are going to explore Movement, Meditation, and Contemplative Prayer. This is the third year that Julie and I have lead this three-day retreat, and I am greatly anticipating another weekend overflowing with community, compassion, fellowship, and silence. We are planning on having 5 yoga classes, a mix of gentle/restorative and gentle vinyasa flow classes. There will be many opportunities for silent and guided meditation sessions. I will be offering the participants private Thai Yoga Bodywork sessions. And above all else, I look forward to the time spent together in fellowship and silence as we explore the meaning of quietude, peace, and love in our inner and outer lives. It is truly a blessing to be a part of this retreat.
The retreat takes place within the walls of the Manna House of Prayer which is and always has been owned by the Sisters of Saint Joseph. Within it’s impeccably clean and silent hallways echo the history of our small town and the Sisters who have always supported it. The Manna House was built in 1884 by the Sisters, as a Motherhouse, which served as their convent and an academy for students of all faith. The use of the building has evolved. It has been a hospital, a school, a nursing home, and finally now a comfortable respite for those seeking a peaceful and spiritual retreat. This is my third stay at the Manna House and when I walk through the doors it is in deep reverence for the women who built and sustained this prayer house as their service to others.