Sunday, September 03, 2006

Mount Paul Retreat Center

All I got to say about this place is: WOW. A beautiful location, some 1200 acres or so nestled in the wooded hills of northern NJ some two hours or so from New York City. It's a glacier carved landscape ... and there's detailed instructions on what to do if one encounters black bears on the many trails nearby (One of them was: "wave your arms, talk loudly. Let the bear know you're human." Hmmm.)

An uneventful drive up from DC, some five and a half hours. Traffic was backed up a bit on the NJ Turnpike. After crossing the Delaware Memorial bridge Tom G (one of my novice brothers) stopped off at a garden center just off the Turnpike, with some amazingly fresh produce. We picked up a couple of dozen ears of corn ($3.99/doz.!) for later. [Ok, was it totally silly of me to get excited at seeing a South Carolina tag on the Turnpike? :-) I hope they knew that it had expired! :-)]

Mount Paul used to house the Novitiate until the late 1990s, I believe, when it was moved to Washington. I'm not sure I can imagine spending a whole year in such isolated splendor ... well, it's not that secluded. The town's nearby. There's a cell phone tower or two close by -- my phone has good reception. And, in good CSP fashion, there's WiFi spots all over the building. Mi piace.

Nothing on the agenda yet, except for dinner at a nearby restaurant in a few. I walked out to the artificial lake just next to the building and took a few shots (and prayed the Te Deum) ... y'all enjoy!

[It's not really visible in the photo, but the chapel has kneelers. Yay! :-)]

::Update:: Dinner at a local Italian joint rocked. The retreat apparently doesn't officially start till the morning. So, do I ever mean it when I say that I'll not be blogging for such and such a period? :)  Posted by Picasa


St. Elizabeth of Cayce said...

Lovely place. Hope you hear what God has to say to you there.

Something they might have left out of the instructions: Remember, you don't have to outrun the bear---you only have to outrun your fellow novices.


Susan Rose, CSJP said...

have a wonderful retreat. prayers coming your way. and I LOVE the Paulist charism! Having spent 7 years in a Paulist parish I'm a bit of a Paulist myself.