WAVERLY (SNR) - Father Gary Coulter, director of Our Lady of Good Counsel Retreat House in Waverly, will direct participants in an Ignatian retreat Aug. 11-14.
Ignatian retreats, based on the spiritual exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola, are also known as silent retreats.
“The heart of the Ignatian retreat involves spending four or five prayer periods each day in meditation on scripture,” Father Coulter said. “Thus, the real director of an Ignatian retreat is the Holy Spirit.”
“Typical weekend retreats at Our Lady of Good Counsel Retreat House are a ‘preached’ retreat with a series of talks given by the retreat master,” Father Coulter explained. But an Ignatian retreat, he clarified, “is a ‘directed’ retreat in which the retreatant meets privately with the retreat director once per day, who then gives the retreatant instruction and scripture passages for the coming day.”
The retreat is marked by a complete silence, as there are no common prayers or devotions outside of Mass and Exposition, and no social time as even the meals are taken in silence to continue the reflection and prayerful atmosphere. Retreatants journal about each of their prayer times and the movements that occurred there, so that when they meet with the director, they can be given guidance and appropriate scripture passages for their meditation.
Father Coulter suggested participants read “Meditation and Contemplation” by Father Timothy Gallagher, OMV to learn more on the Ignatian methods of meditating on Scripture.
Ordained a priest for 17 years, Father Coulter is the director of Our Lady of Good Counsel Retreat House and Co-Vicar for Religious for the Diocese of Lincoln. He was a parochial vicar at St. Patrick and Blessed Sacrament parishes in Lincoln, and pastor at Ashland and Greenwood.
Our Lady of Good Counsel Retreat House offers a peaceful atmosphere of prayer and recollection, situated on a spacious acreage near Waverly. The facility includes 50 single rooms, each with a private bath.
The Ignatian retreat will begin Thursday, Aug. 11 at 7 p.m. for those desiring a four-day retreat, or Friday, Aug. 12 at 7 p.m. for those making a three-day retreat. All will conclude with Mass and a noon lunch on Sunday. It is open to men and women of all ages, and retreatants should bring a Bible, journal, and spiritual reading.
There will also be five- or four-day Ignatian retreats directed March 20-24, 2017, with FOCUS campus ministry chaplains and missionaries.
Other upcoming retreats include: “Jesus is The Way, Truth and Life in St. John” for women Aug. 26-28 with Father Scott Courtney; “The Work of the Holy Angels” four-day retreat Sept. 8-11 for men and women; and “To Pray as Jesus Taught” for men and women Sept. 30-Oct. 2 by Father Michael Morin.