Monastic Retreats and Creation-Care

15th June 2016
Kopua April 2016 blackberry clearing

Clearing Blackberry at Kopua. (Helen Bathurst)

Living in an increasingly frenetic world, full of activity and noise, we may struggle to find time and space in our everyday lives to enjoy the simple pleasures of being human – the beauty of sharing time with others, the joy of simple eating, and the physical labour that connects us to the land/Papatuanuku.  In April, members of the A Rocha Wellington group spent a weekend retreat at Southern Star Abbey at Kopua in the Southern Hawkes Bay.  Father John, one of the Cistercian monks who lives as part of this monastic community is involved in restoring parts of the monastery land.  The A Rocha group joined the Brothers in their daily worship and returned to the area of restoration worked by previous A Rocha groups on retreat at Kopua.  “It was a delight,” Carolyn Nimmo noted, “to see the growth of trees planted on previous visits and to be able to prepare an area for new planting to be undertaken in spring. It was a rich weekend shared with each other, enjoying the hospitality of the Brothers and being involved in practical creation care.”

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