As Pope Benedict himself says, it is very important for priests to take time out now and again to spend a concentrated period of time in prayer and reflection so that we may be more effective in our ministry to those we are called to serve:
"We cannot bring to the world the Good News, which is Christ himself in person, if we ourselves are not deeply united with Christ, if we do not know him profoundly, personally, if we do not live by his Word."
Pope Benedict XVI, after his own retreat, 11th March 2006.
I offered Mass today for everyone at St Ann's.
I thought you might like to see some photos of the retreat centre, especially the beautiful Oratory which I showed you on this blog during my retreat here last year. You might also be interested in the time-table of the Retreat for Priests this week.
Making a retreat, even if just 'withdrawing from the world' for a day, or part of a day, is not just something for the clergy. I hope some of you who have never experienced a retreat might be encouraged to try it yourself. There are many places available not too far away which welcome lay people for a day's retreat, a weekend or longer. They are often publicised in our parish newsletter and on our noticeboards.