This weekend we did a family retreat at St. Ottilien. Seven families with around 15 kids, Pater Otto, Yvonne a social worker and Sebastian and Sabrina who did take care of the kids. To sum it up, it was a great weekend, which gave good impulses to the relationship of the couples, was enjoyable for the kids who encountered many more sisters and brothers, last but not least was a great spiritual example. Most impressed me on the first day, when in the late evening Pater Otto opened the church for us to explore. The kids roamed freely but respectfully up and down the church, we adults sat in the choir chairs, where usually the monks sit. The Pater was playing the guitar; otherwise the church was dimming lighted and silent. After he stopped playing we gathered around the altar, the priest would explain basic praying background and we would burn Myrrh. In the night there was a heavy thunderstorm, which let drop the temperture from 35 degrees Celsuis to single digit on the next day.
Second Day was a full program of adult, kids and mixed group sessions around the them “was tut Dir gut”, dem Vater, der Mutter, dem Kind dem Ehepartner. The day ended in the patio on an open fireplace. The third day again brought adult, kids and mixed group sessions and a very intimate mass given by Pater Otto. I am at St. Otillien sometimes for retreats.
I like the religious exercises, „Exerzitien “, the St. Benedict way, in which lectio divina, hourly prayer (Stundengebet) and the care of the silence calms the soul. It touched my family too. They will surely come back, as we come back.