Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta


Monks Offer Retreat For Those Past ‘Halfway Mark’

Published April 28, 2005

Have you ever wondered whether your spiritual life could improve with age?

Have you always postponed doing something just for your own relationship with God because you were so busy working and taking care of others?

Did a retreat once seem like a luxury for saints, while now it sounds like a restful chance to be by yourself and think about where you’ve been and where you’re going?

The retreat house at Our Lady of the Holy Spirit Monastery invites you to take part in a new retreat May 9-12, designed for those 50 and older, from Monday evening to Thursday morning, that will provide food for thought, quiet for reflection, and humor and wisdom from Trappist monks who are past the halfway mark themselves. There is no upper age limit and the retreat is open to both men and women.

The retreat is newly designed and is being offered for the first time. The text will be a book by renowned spiritual writer Father Henri Nouwen entitled “Aging: The Fulfillment of Life.” The presenters will include Father Anthony DeLisi, prior of the monastery, Father Tom Francis and Father James. All three have written on prayer and spirituality. Most recently Father Anthony’s book, “Praying in the Cellar,” was published in February by Paraclete Press. The retreat will touch upon how the second part of life can be the time when the greatest riches unfold. Tips are promised on staying young at heart, having a sense of humor, because growing older is not for sissies, and remembering what you never knew. Copies of the book by Father Nouwen are available at The Abbey Store at the monastery. Those coming are encouraged to bring a Bible.

The retreat house is located on the grounds of the monastery at 2625 Highway 212, SW, Conyers. Meals are included and served in a dining room at the guesthouse where retreatants stay. Bed and bath linens are included. Retreatants are welcome to join in some or all of the monastery’s daily schedule of prayers and celebration of Mass. Spiritual direction and opportunities for the sacrament of confession are also available.

A $30 registration fee is required when a reservation for the retreat is made. A free-will offering is made at the end of the retreat with a suggested donation of $60-$100 per night. Those unable to contribute this amount are encouraged to come on the retreat nonetheless and contribute as much as they are able.

To make a reservation for the retreat or for more information call the guestmaster at (770) 760-0959 or e-mail More information about the monastery can be obtained at The retreat “for those past the halfway mark” will also be offered Aug. 15-18 and Dec. 5-8.