A Letter from Eastern Point

From Sister Donna Fannon, MHSH

I am spending the month of July directing four people through the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius at Eastern Point Retreat House in Gloucester, Massachusetts.

The Exercises were developed by St. Ignatius as an aid in helping people know, love and follow Jesus Christ in the midst of their active lives.  Through a series of prayer experiences—“exercises”—a retreatant is led to deeper intimacy with Jesus and discovers his or her call to labor with Christ in the world in order to further the kingdom of God.

Eastern Point is located on the ocean and the natural beauty that surrounds the house draws retreatants to a desire to know the Creator. On further reflection, they begin to realize how deep and unconditional God’s love is.

The Exercises then invite the retreatant to consider the quality of his/her response to this unconditional love. As the retreat progresses, the participants consider the gift of God’s son, Jesus, to the world, and they are invited to respond to Jesus’ invitations to friendship and His call to labor with Him in redeeming the world and restoring all of creation to His Father.

The focus then shifts to an invitation to be with Jesus in His passion and death and to consider the cost of discipleship.  Toward the end of the retreat, participants encounter the risen Christ, who is with us always, and contemplate God’s presence in all things.

Throughout this month, retreatants pray with selected passages from the Scriptures, asking God for graces necessary to live out this call to discipleship.  For more than 450 years, the Spiritual Exercises have been a source of inspiration, spiritual strength and a deep, abiding friendship with Jesus Christ.

A number of those doing the Exercises this summer are men and women preparing for final vows in their respective religious communities. There are also a significant number of lay people who desire this friendship with Jesus as they continue to live out their vocations in the world.

P.S.  The Feast Day of St. Ignatius of Loyola is July 31.

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6 Responses to A Letter from Eastern Point

  1. Dolores SSJ says:

    Donna, thank you for companioning people as they walk a closer walk with Jesus. I appreciate your explanation here of the Spiritual Exercises. God bless! Dolores SSJ

    • Caritas says:

      How I’d love to be making your retreat! Keep up your wonderful work, Donna. Caritas,RSM

      • TM says:

        It is a delight to read about your experience at Glouster and the excellent summary of the retreat meditations. Here in Florida we will be having sign-up Sunday for those interested in making The Long Retreat (Exercises of St. Ignatius) on the 31st of this month, feast of St. Ignatius. We will begin at the end of August and contiunue until the end of May 2012. What you do in thirty days we will do in nine months. But most of the people will be family with jobs and children. Thank you for sharing with us and we will be grateful for your prayers for us. Peace from T.M.

  2. Mary Ita Hayes, MHSH says:

    Thanks Donna for helping us to celebrate the feast of St. Ignatius. I have mentioned your presence to one of the women I met with in Haverhill. She has been at Eastern Point in the past and it sems it is the time for her to return to discern her future jopurney. I loved the pictures! Pray for all of us as we too continue on our journey. Mary Ita

  3. Sr. Donna says:

    One thing we have here at Eastern Point is time–time to pray! All of you are in my prayers this month, Donna

  4. zanyleni says:

    Hi Donna,
    It’s Madeline from the summer retreat at Gloucester. I’m now in Timonium, MD. I saw your Sisters had a Flea Market recently. We should get together.

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