News from around the Archdiocese of Liverpool
Retreat to the Northern Saints
A group of very happy people left Liverpool one very bright morning on retreat to the Northern Saints led by Father Peter Morgan and accompanied by Deacon Francis Bowman and his wife Dorothy.
We enjoyed a very pleasant journey stopping for lunch and arrived at Minsteracres Retreat House in the late afternoon.
Minsteracres is owned by the Cross and Passion Order and is set in acres of beautiful land in Northumberland, the approach along the tree lined drive is simply amazing.
Father Peter celebrated Mass for us that evening and talked to us about the Northern Saints, St Aidan who founded a monastic cathedral on the island of Lindisfarne in 635 and Holy Island where we were to visit the next day.
Holy Island is awesome, rugged and beautiful, it is hard to describe the wonderful feeling of peace and quiet which comes over you. God is here and is asking us to return soon to this wonderful island which prompted author and poet Dorothy Nelson of St Joseph’s, Wrightington, who joined us on the retreat break to write these beautiful words which we present to you.
Thank you Dorothy
Follow the afternoon tide
where a long straight road leads to the causeway
and sloping fields stretch to the sea.
Clouds are banked, giant white pillows, in a vast changing sky.
Walk the grassy path to the edge of the sand
where the water shimmers glassy in sunlight,
and the spirit of the island embraces.
A castle is mounted in stark silhouette.
Behind you is the priory,
blue sky beckoning between ruined walls.
I am here, too. There is peace and silence,
save for a voice reciting a psalm.
Walkers stroll by, heading towards the museum,
but already the evening tide is rolling
And so we must leave,
resisting, eyes glassy,
as the island calls…
the island calls.
We continued our Northern Saints visit at Durham Cathedral which is very beautiful and atmospheric, we prayed to Saint Cuthbert, St Oswald and Saint Bede and all the other northern saints - too many I am afraid to mention here.
Friday our last day together we spent in York mostly in the beautiful Minster marvelling at the Arc relics and the beauty of it all.
Our four days together went so quickly but we have learned so much and look forward to our next retreat break.
Thank you Fr Peter for leading this retreat break and giving us such a wonderful spiritual experience that will never be forgotten.