Battle-hardened veterans might view the term ‘retreat’ as something akin to failure, withdrawal, or a need to regroup. For me, retreat is certainly a withdrawal and definitely time to regroup. But never failure. This past weekend was our parish annual women’s retreat at Saint Paul of the Cross Monastery Retreat Center, on the south side of Pittsburgh. The timing this year was definitely perfect for me, personally. I needed the withdrawal from stressful elements going on around me and I needed time to just think, ponder, consider, and discern. Although the start of the weekend was a bit rocky due to some family news, the rest was quite rewarding. I was able to give some consideration to the development of some new workshop themes and discuss options. I truly find my time away inspiring and I am giving some serious consideration to doing the directed silent retreat in early June, if I can manage to make it work. If you’ve never tried a retreat weekend (or few days) I highly recommend it. Leave your phone and laptop behind (at least in your room) and really use the time to focus on your relationship with God (and others). You’ll not be disappointed. I promise. I am even thinking that perhaps it’s time to expand retreat locations and venture out to new venues — local or distant I haven’t yet decided. I am open to suggestions! If you have any, send them my way.