Eighteen members of the Hallam Ascent group recently visited the Institute of Our Lady of Mercy in Derby for their yearly retreat. This year the retreat was given by Fr Denis Labartette, a Rosminian priest, who shared four ‘Petites stories’ about moments in his life when he felt the Holy Spirit at work.
Following Mass the group had lunch in the lovely convent gardens and then visited the church of St Mary’s attached to the convent. The Pugin church dates from 1839 and has been beautifully restored with the help of Lottery Heritage money.
In the afternoon Fr Denis concluded the day with an anointing service. Each person then picked up a ‘spiritual After Eight’ in the form of a written word. Words like ‘Hope’, ‘Compassion’ gave individuals a specific focus to work on after the retreat.
The recurring theme of the day was that God alone is holy and that it is God who chooses us to work for Him, rather than the other way around. The group were reassured in the knowledge that all that God demands is faithfulness, rather than success.
The group left the convent after a lovely tea, which included freshly baked scones.
The hospitality of the nuns was warm and welcoming, which the group really appreciated.