Once a year, professed members of the Viatorians break away from their daily roles and set aside time for a retreat, to renew themselves both spiritually and emotionally.

This week they returned to the Serra Retreat Center in Malibu, CA. This scenic Catholic retreat center — nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the Santa Monica Mountains — is a peaceful sanctuary run by the Franciscan Friars. Viatorians last gathered there for a retreat in 2016.Viatorians on hand represent all of the regions in the Chicago Province, except Colombia.

They include retired members, those actively serving in schools and parishes, as well as those involved in social justice and immigrant accompaniment.

While camaraderie and gathering together again in person has been uplifting, these Viatorians also are reflecting on the theme of this week’s retreat, of how to be a reconciling presence in a broken world.

Fr. Joseph Nassal, C.PP.S. is  leading them on this retreat. He is a Missionary of the Precious Blood who has been engaged in retreat, renewal and reconciliation ministry since 1988. He is the author of eight books including The Conspiracy of Compassion, Rest Stops for the Soul, and Premeditated Mercy.

“This week has allowed us to really focus on the importance of our life together as community — and the importance of sharing spiritually with one another,” says Br. Rob Robertson, CSV. “We have really focused on how our community is our real mission, and that is what allows us to minister to others.”