Easter at Pradines: A Retreat of Spiritual Reflection and Serenity

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Easter at Pradines- Benedictine Monastery

At the Benedictine Abbey of Pradines, the Easter celebrations were marked by a blend of elements: silence, prayer, biblical reading, liturgy, psalm, conference, sharing, smiles, joy, contemplation, simplicity, vigil, night, calm, rest… Each word evokes a dimension of the experience lived by the Fraternity of Lay Missionaries (FLM) and its accompanying Father, Dominic Wabwireh.
Arriving to participate in the Good Friday service on Friday afternoon, Holy Saturday was a day of waiting imbued with significance. We discovered what it means to keep vigil: to be vigilant, not to doze off. It’s being fully aware, ready to respond to the call, just as a caregiver, a parent, a friend, a spouse, a loved one awaits healing, return, or passage.
Nature, capricious as it is, played a significant role. Despite the wind and rain, it eventually offered a moment of calm and serenity, allowing the sisters to quietly prepare the fire around which we gathered. A fleeting gust of wind nearly extinguished the flames, but the Paschal candle remained valiant, guiding us to the church to continue the liturgy. Year after year, this liturgy reminds us of our journey as believers, and renewing the promises of our baptism by signing ourselves with the baptismal water was a moment charged with meaning.
Surrounded by the kindness and joyful gazes of the benedictine sisters, we felt supported and uplifted, in confidence. In our sometimes troubled lives, being able to benefit from such a retreat of serenity is a real comfort.
The time change was handled thoughtfully by the sisters, reminding us several times of the necessary adjustment. Despite a short night and few people at Lauds, the church filled up at 9 a.m., as neighbors and friends joined the community to sing with joy: “Alleluia! Yes! Christ is truly risen, let it be said: Christ is risen.”
Easter at Pradines was much more than a liturgical celebration. It was an experience of community, reflection, and spiritual renewal, where each moment was imbued with deep meaning and grace.

By Helene Liet and Dominic Wabwireh

One response to “Easter at Pradines: A Retreat of Spiritual Reflection and Serenity”

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