Faith Matters

Spiritual rest and reflection at Tobar Mhuire summer retreats

Tobar Mhuire is a beautiful setting for spiritual retreats

TOBAR Mhuire, the retreat and conference centre set in beautiful grounds in Crossgar, Co Down, is hosting events to help people recharge their spiritual batteries this summer.

Tobar Mhuire is run by the Passionist Community and its annual summer institute aims to build a bridge between the story of the Passion and the lived experience of people looking for mercy and compassion in their lives.

This year's summer institute takes place on Wednesday July 5 and Thursday July 6 with the theme 'The Cross - A Call to Mercy and Compassion'.

The speakers are the Right Rev Trevor Williams, a former Church of Ireland bishop of Limerick, the Rev John Dunlop, a former Presbyterian moderator, and Ms Pat Coyle, who is a lecturer at Milltown Institute of Theology and director of communications for the Jesuits in Ireland.

"While they come from different traditions and backgrounds, they share a common bond of having the courage to step beyond traditional barriers and obstacles to bring the gospel of compassion to individuals and communities in need of mercy and hope in their lives," said the organisers.

Another summer highlight at Tobar Mhuire is the 'Resting at the Well' six-day guided retreat, with its appeal to "Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while".

The retreat is for lay people as well as clergy and religious and will be led by Brian McKee from Sunday June 2 until Saturday July 1.

Brian McKee will lead the Tobar Mhuire six-day retreat

"In this retreat, we are invited to take time aside, to relax and to connect with our true self," explained Mr McKee.

"For people of faith, this time is not a luxury; it is a necessity.

"Hosea invites us 'to come to the desert to pray and God will speak to our hearts', and the retreat will have a mixture of silence, talks, meditation and communal prayer."

Mr McKee said his hope was that "in the stillness of the sacred grounds of Tobar Mhuire, our spirits are nourished and we open ourselves to hear the quiet voice of God".

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