St Beuno's Jesuit Spirituality Centre under lockdown

POST BY AWentworth

‘You’re not as hot as I am’ would not have been part of any conversation before Covid 19 but each day at St Beuno’s taking our temperatures gives us some indication that the measures we are taking to stay well and healthy are working.

We are a community of 17 during this time of lockdown; a community which has been generously enhanced by the presence of two Jesuit novices, Dunstan and Sam, as well as our four Jesuits from other communities. Our last retreatants left on March 16th and since then we have been living a very different type of community life.

A typical day (although there are many variations on this!) begins with morning prayer at 9:15am. This is followed by various activities and work which includes gardening, refreshing prayer spaces, thinking about new programmes and retreats, and planning for a yet unknown future. We have lunch together at 12:30 and in the afternoons have time for more work, walks, conversation, and singing practice before celebrating Eucharist together at 5:45pm. This is followed by supper, and after supper we pray together at Exposition where we bring before God all the people who have asked for our prayers and all the prayers which have been submitted to us through our Facebook page. Most evenings after Exposition we light the fire in the community room and activities include conversation, jigsaws, playing cards, learning chess and there is much laughter to be heard as we enjoy these evenings together. We know and appreciate this gift during this time of anxiety and fear for so many people.

I think that everyone at St Beuno’s feels an immense sense of gratitude at the moment; gratitude that we are well, that we can celebrate Eucharist together daily, that we live in such a beautiful place where the walks from our doorstep advised by the government are in beautiful countryside, where we still have plenty of food, space and companionship. We think often of people who have none of these things and strive to have solidarity with them. During this time, we are determined that we will keep the spirit of St Beuno’s alive; through our prayer and the way we live in community but also in the way we are present to people who are spatially distant from us. Spiritual direction is taking place using the technology available to us. Fr Damian Jackson’s outreach work continues, online retreats are being planned and we continue to discern how best to respond to the needs of this extraordinary time.

Blog by Deirdre Rowe