More than a place for solitude, St. Anthony Retreat Center provides a wide array of retreat ministry services
Story and photo by Darlene J.M. Dela Cruz Hawaii Catholic Herald
The retreat ministry team at St. Anthony Retreat Center invites everyone to a special bereavement day of recollection, Nov. 11, 9 a.m.-2 p.m., at Rose Hill in the heart of the retreat center’s Kalihi Valley campus.
The day of recollection is the 7th annual event hosted by St. Anthony for those mourning the loss of a loved one. November is the month Catholics traditionally dedicate to remembering and praying for the dead.
Registration for the bereavement retreat is due by Nov. 7. Admission is free, though a free will offering will be taken up. Lunch will be provided. For more information, call 845-0065.
Leading the day of recollection are Sacred Hearts Sister Marie Lemert and Malulani Kamanu. Sister Marie is a nurse by profession and a trained spiritual director. Kamanu is an educator who is experienced in various ministries.
The two women have planned a variety of reflections and activities to aid in healing the pain of grief. They hope that the Nov. 11 retreat will serve as a “springboard” for participants to reach out to others in their parishes and communities for further bereavement resources.
“We really welcome everyone,” Kamanu said. “We try to do something a little different.”
Sister Marie said they plan to explore the general process of coping with losses in life, as well as the different stages of grieving in the context of the five stages noted by Swiss psychiatrist Elizabeth Kubler-Ross: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance.
“The stages are not static,” Sister Marie said.
She added that the day of recollection is sensitive to each participant’s story. Whether mourning the recent loss of a friend or family member, or a tragic death that occurred many years ago, or the passing of a beloved pet, Sister Marie said the retreat is “extremely not judgmental” of anyone’s situations.
All faiths and all backgrounds are welcome to the bereavement day of recollection.
She and Kamanu encourage participants to bring a photo of their beloved dead. A Mass will be celebrated at St. Anthony that Saturday, during which retreat attendees can pray for their lost loved ones.
St. Anthony services
The Nov. 11 bereavement retreat is just one of many services offered by Kamanu, Sister Marie and the staff of St. Anthony Retreat Center.
Kamanu and Sister Marie are eager to get word out about the myriad ways St. Anthony can be a part of any spiritual journey by providing a quiet place for reflection, customized retreat plans for groups or individuals, as well as events such as the bereavement retreat led by St. Anthony staff for the entire community.
St. Anthony Retreat Center is sponsored and operated by the Sisters of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary. It is a non-profit center.
The retreat center ties with the Sacred Hearts sisters’ mission to contemplate, live and share with the world God’s redeeming love.
More than a century ago, Bishop Libert Boeynaems purchased roughly 124 acres in lush Kalihi Valley to open an orphanage. In 1974, St. Anthony’s Home was converted into a retreat facility.
St. Anthony Retreat Center underwent an expansion from 1999-2008, adding private rooms, cottages, a dining hall and conference rooms on the grounds. Today, the retreat center is a welcoming sanctuary away from the hustle and bustle of Honolulu, nestled in a secluded spot amid verdant mountains and fresh foliage.
Kamanu noted that she, Sister Marie and the St. Anthony retreat ministry team can assist in group retreats if a leader is not available, or if a speaker or other activities are needed. Sister Marie said she is able to provide individual guided retreats as well.
Kamanu recommends that anyone interested in the St. Anthony retreat ministry services “call immediately.” She and Sister Marie would love to brainstorm with interested groups or individuals about their spiritual needs, but space at St. Anthony does fill up quickly.
Sister Marie and Kamanu said they hope to expand their outreach in retreat ministry as St. Anthony Retreat Center undergoes upkeep to its facilities and grounds to better serve the community.
The retreat center is a special place, Sister Marie said.
“It’s a space to encounter God,” she added.
An email blast is available for those who would like regular updates on St. Anthony events and services. To sign up, visit the center’s website at http://www.saintanthonyretreat.org/
St. Anthony Retreat Center
- 3351 Kalihi St.
Bereavement Day of Recollection
- Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017
- 9 a.m.-2 p.m.