From Friday evening until Sunday noon, I was at Notre-Dame-de-la-Providence retreat centre in Orleans for the bi-annual retreat for all the English Sector diaconal family (in alternate years the deacons and their wives make their own arrangements for retreat individually or in groups).
Our topic was Discipleship in the Gospel of Mark, a theme close to my heart (my dissertation topic) as a way of reflecting on the baptismal call to be with Jesus and to be sent out (cf. Mark 3.14) and its new dimension in the call to serve the poor and disadvantaged as deacons.
The Sisters of Charity of Ottawa gave us a warm welcome and joined us for the Lord's Day Eucharistic Liturgy (I had a short visit with them earlier on Sunday morning).
After Mass, we went out to the entrance for group photos of the deacons and another with the deacons and their wives. What a gift these men and women are to the life of our Church of Ottawa!
A box of my new book on the Mark's Gospel in the Year B liturgies (Living the Gospel: Reflections on the Sunday Readings for Year B [Toronto/Montreal: Novalis, 2011] was available for those who wished to purchase them, so there were some book signings too.
Some photos from the weekend (all courtesy of Deacon Gary and Lise Bourgeois):