>Including orientation, I just finished my 8th JVC retreat of my time as a Jesuit Volunteer. At first, just getting back from vacation, I thought retreat would be a little wasted on me since I had just had rested up. But the 3 days I worked that week proved to be plenty enough to send me running for the hills. It rained all week so we were quite busy, we had two cases of domestic violence between clients, and another death (which I mentioned earlier). And a fight involving knives. So I was definitely ready to retreat.
>Retreat, round 8
June 10, 2010 by Blueberries For Me
We headed to a town near Big Sky, MT which is close to West Yellowstone. It was wonderful to see all of the volunteers from Montana, Eastern Washington, and Idaho, about 40 in all. This year I have gotten much closer to the volunteers from other communities than I did last year, which has been a blessing. It helps me to remember that this is bigger than just my community, just my job. We watched a short video based on the bestseller, My Life with the Saints, which also reminded me this is bigger than JVC.
The most influential part of the weekend, for me, was reading Thomas Merton’s Letter to a Young Activist. We just received a copy at the end of the weekend, but I think it is an incredibly powerful letter.
The weekend focused on spirituality and created a lot of time for reflection. Two of the communities, Omak and Hays, have finished their JVC term since they work in schools. It was a little difficult to pair the closure they were going through with trying to renew the energy of those who still have a month or two left.
In addition to the Ignatian Spirituality, there were also campfires, s’mores, and many games of Mafia. I still can’t believe how many times the Mafia won…