Events for Birmingham deacons 2017.

The annual retreat for deacons is arranged for Friday 20 to Sunday 22 October.

As in 2015 the venue will be Belmont Abbey near Hereford, and the retreat will be led once again by Fr Brendan Thomas. Fr Brendan gave a first-class retreat last time, and we look forward to a good attendance of deacons and wives. As well as being a working Benedictine abbey, Belmont is a thriving parish, and there is much to enjoy in a very active community. I attach two reviews of recent retreats which I hope will encourage you and your wives to come.

Retreat - a wife's view

One of the many blessings of being a deacon’s wife is in being able to attend the annual deacons’ retreat. Held at a variety of venues, the retreat weekends always provide a very enjoyable opportunity to refresh and deepen our faith, to renew old friendships and form new ones, and to share our joys and difficulties with others well-placed to understand.

Last year’s retreat, in the beautiful setting of the Boars Hill Carmelite Priory near Oxford, was directed by Fr John Farrell OP. In a series of fascinating talks he brought the gospel to life, encouraging us to listen to Jesus speaking to us personally, and to make our homes and parishes what he called ”Bethany’s”, places of welcome for all in need. He prompted us to spend a little time in quiet reflection and prayer alone, as well as celebrating Mass and saying Morning and Evening Prayer together. In addition, there was the opportunity to take advice from Fr John and to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation, and there was time set aside for just enjoying one another’s company.

This year’s retreat will be at Belmont Abbey in Herefordshire from 20 – 22 October. It will be led by Dom Brendan Thomas, who directed the 2015 retreat; he was so interesting and encouraging we just had to hear more from him! I would encourage any deacon’s wife who is able to come but might be hesitating to come along. Put it in your diary now!

Marie-Anne Russell