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Published: February 15th 2006
More on our monastery travels soon ... we made it to two in North Dakota before the snows came and we have photos and stories to share (once we learn how to post photos!) But at the moment we're enjoying a unique kind of retreat.
In November we got a letter telling us we'd been nominated to spend a month at an artist's retreat on The Gulf of Mexico. February in Florida sounded excellent, so sight unseen we accepted. Quite a delight to arrive in a tropical paradise on the edge of the sea, with 4 weeks to work on whatever creative projects we liked. The only responsibility is two presentations to the local community on our work. Everyone is interested in hearing about our Sanctuaries book series and all the monasteries we've visited, so we've been warmly welcomed.
We also have collected mealtime blessings at all the monasteries, in a book called "100 Graces" and everyone loves hearing about those too. Quite a gift to be here. The idea is the same as our monasteries: time away from regular routines gives respite and relaxation, and spurs creativity in every area of our lives. Although this retreat only welcomes artists by nomination, Florida has several retreats that have open hospitality to anyone who is interested in a stay.
For example, Holy Name Monastery in St. Leo, Florida and St. Leo Abbey next door, on the campus of St. Leo College. Sitting on 40 acres next to Lake Jovita, 30-miles northeast of Tampa the Benedictine sisters arrived here over 100 years ago as teachers. The current community of congenial sisters cheerfully welcomes guests. Overflow guests can stay with the monks next door. Sanctuaries- a guide to lodgings in Monasteries & Retreats in the U.S.
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