My boss had the foresight, when I was negotiating my contract with my current parish, to have a week long retreat worked in that was not part of "vacation" weeks. Given my marriage and ordination the priesthood in the last year, I have yet had time to take advantage of this option.
I formally put in my request for retreat time, and I must say I cleverly timed it so that the boss could look at it and approve it right before he went on his retreat. I doubt he would have turned me down, seeing as I scheduled it on a week when I was not a presider or preacher on the preaching rota. At this point, the retreat will be over two months away, but I am looking forward to it now, nonetheless.
I was not sure exactly where I would go for my spiritual retreat. There is a fine monastery up in Schyuler, Nebraska, that I have been to before. (Great retreat center if you are in the neighborhood and looking for something like that.) I wanted to try something new this time, however.
Once upon a time, I was discerning if I was called to become a monk. Obviously, since I am happily married that was not the case. But I have always enjoyed spending time at monasteries. The Society of St. John the Evangelist in Boston is a fabulous place, but that's a little far a field with gas and airline prices what they are these days.
I discovered (Google is a wonderful thing) that there is a rather sizable Abbey between Watertown and Sisseton, South Dakota. I had been considering taking a few days off to go up to the Sisseton area as it is beautiful country up there. I was thrilled to learn there was an Abbey there that had both a retreat house and a heritage, both of which look really nice.
The name of it is Blue Cloud Abbey. I am looking forward to going to it, and will give you a report when I get back.
Only 2 months or so, but who's counting?