by the Companion Directors Team
The Companion Directors Team presented the Companion retreat, Living Into Gather, Send, the weekend of January 9th and 10th at the Catholic Center on the campus of the University of Central Florida. The sponsor of the Lake Mary and Orlando Companion groups, Fr. Vince Wirtner, C.PP.S. joined us and presided at our Sunday liturgy on the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, a fitting celebration in line with the theme of the retreat. This was the fifth of six retreats that we have offered throughout the country in the past few months. The final retreat in this series will take place next weekend in sunny California.
The setting for the retreat was ideal. The Catholic Center is located in a recently constructed upscale dorm that is packed with amenities such as a swimming pool, an exercise room, and a roof-top lounging area where you can view the city of Orlando including Epcot Center’s nightly fireworks display. Fr. Ben Berinti, C.PP.S. is the director of the Catholic Center. The welcome that he and the students extended to the Companions was heartwarming and in keeping with the Precious Blood charism of hospitality. The facility itself was an ideal setting for a spirit-filled time of reflection from the intimate setting of the chapel to the spacious gathering space to the fully equipped kitchen and dining area to the spiritual décor throughout the facility.
Fr. Ben is in an ideal setting to introduce the Companion movement at the college level. Initial discussion have taken place but will be followed by more in-depth conversation to further explore this opportunity.
We are also pleased that Fr. Ben has agreed to lead the following Companion retreats, Celebrating Gather, Send:
October 1, 2                                      Marillac Center                                 Leavenworth, KS
October 29, 30                                 St. Charles Center                          Carthagena, OH
November 5                                      TBD                                                    Iowa
January 14, 15, 2017                       University of Central Florida        Orlando, FL
Febbruary 4, 5, 2017                       TBD                                                  California
We have thoroughly enjoyed meeting once again with the Companions across the country as we have presented Living Into Gather, Send. We have been truly edified by the prayerful and spirited presence of the Companions as well as their enthusiastic participation in these spiritual opportunities.