Return to Trust: Advent & Downward Mobility, A Day of Centering Prayer
Amidst the hustle and bustle of our contemporary holiday season, we may hear a still, small voice calling us to come apart and immerse ourselves more fully in the deep meaning of the season; to listen, to pray, to worship. We await, liturgically, for the birth of One who came to show us how to love and how much we are loved. During this retreat day we will explore the great gift of the Incarnation. In alternating periods of reflection, vocal prayer, silent centering prayer and sharing, this day will open us to classical and mystical dimensions of Christmas. This is the time to see God’s initiative in the reversal of sin and distrust to innocence and trust within the human heart; self-preservation to vulnerability and entrustment to Divine Providence. What does this self-abandonment look like? Jesus, Mary and Joseph show us the way. The Advent season is a precious time of expectation and wonder. Come and enjoy this day immersed in sacred word and silence in your journey toward Christmas. Guided by Amy Kulesa and Ken Stifler.
Amy Kulesa, M.Div., M.S.W., serves as the Director of Associates for the Sisters of Bon Secours, USA. She earned a Master of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary and an Master of Social Work in clinical social work practice from Rutgers University. She is a graduate of the Epiphany Certification Program from the Epiphany Academy of Formative Spirituality in Pittsburgh, PA, and graduate of the Practice of Spiritual Direction Training Program at Bon Secours. Amy is a Secular Franciscan. She offers spiritual direction and enjoys facilitating retreats in which participants have the opportunity to discern the narrative of their own lives within the larger story of God’s abundant healing, grace and mercy.
Ken Stifler, Ph.D., is a retired Mental Health Evaluator/Psychologist. He earned a Ph.D. in Pastoral Counseling from Loyola University in Maryland and has training in Spiritual Direction from the Jesuit Center in Warnersville, PA. He has served as a therapist, college instructor and leader of retreats and workshops on various topics, including meditation and related contemplative themes, for retreats at Mepkin Abbey near Charleston, SC. His book Suicide, Despair and Soul Recovery was published by Paulist Press. He has published research articles in the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion based on research comparing mystical states of awareness with psychotic/delusional states, finding the subjective experience to be often the same, but the “fruit” of the experience to be significantly different.