Wednesday, 7 May 2014
The Brave Women Retreat, Krakow, May 2-4 (Part 1)
I was in Kraków for the canonisations of SS. John Paul II and John XXIII. If you subscribe to it, see my report in the Toronto Catholic Register. Otherwise, see another in the Catholic World Report blog. The CWR report includes descriptions of Wrocław, where consciousness of the OTHER papal saint was more obvious.
Meanwhile, in Wrocław I went to the house that was the family home of Saint Edith Stein from c. 1910 until the Nazis confiscated it in 1939. The address is now 38 ulica (street) Nowowiejska, and although the interior was much messed with before a Saint Edith Stein society saved it, you can get a good idea of what it was once like. And I think St. Edith and her family must have known and loved the big chestnut tree in the back garden. Seeing the salon in which St. Edith wrote her doctoral thesis and met with friends was a moving experience. The handsomely patterned floor is the original. For some reason, it hadn't really dawned on me that the Steins were not just comfortable, but rich.
I returned to Kraków in good time for the retreat. There were a maximum of 65 ladies, at least two of whom I recognized from the first Brave Women retreat two years ago. The retreat was led by Father Paweł Drobot, helped by Alicja Jewula, who writes the Brave Women blog and co-ordinates the Brave Women society, which was founded at the first retreat and now meets every month in three cities: Kraków, Wrocław and Warsaw. Alicja says I am the mother of the Brave Women society, which is very satisfying, even if I understand only 20% of what they say!
Friday's events began with supper, Holy Mass in our hosts' (the Redemptorists') chapel, and then prayers and songs of praise before the first lecture, "Do you recall that you were created for joy?" This was by Katarzyna Dziurdzik, who owns a flamenco dance academy. The lecture was in part about her adventures in flamenco, and afterwards she and a few of her students put on a performance.
To be continued tomorrow as I get used to this keyboard!