The COVID-19 shutdowns didn’t prevent the Being With God in Nature ministry from marking Laudato Si’ Week this year, with 18 people taking part in a five-day online retreat.
Fr Iain Radvan SJ, Sr Marg Moore RSM and Peter Saunders led the retreat, ‘Connecting with God in Creation’, from 18 to 22 May.
Participants joined each other for presentations on Zoom each morning, then broke out into small groups for reflection and conversation.
‘Participants spoke about not being sure initially if the Zoom process would work for a retreat, but were pleasantly surprised at how effective it was’, said Peter Saunders.
The week began with a reflection on God’s love in creation, and a look at integral ecology. Participants then explored how human beings have damaged our natural environment, and their call to ecological conversion. It ended with a call to action to care for the environment.
After input and sharing each morning, the participants were invited to take part in Spiritual Exercises during the day where they would experience the natural environment around them.
‘It was a wonderful experience of balance between input, connection, prayer, quiet time and engaging with nature’, said one of the participants, Wayne.
Peter said the participants came from Queensland, NSW, Victoria, South Australia and New Zealand.
‘There is scope with a Zoom retreat to be available to a wider audience. We had 12 people on the waiting list. It could be held globally’, he said.
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