There were approximately 40 of us who attended, some from the Ottawa French community and some from Kingston. Our English Ottawa community hosted the event at Our Lady of Mount Carmel church. We had a table of fruit, muffins etc for breakfast and registration started at 8:30. We had fellowship together until 9:30 when we began the day by reciting Morning Prayer.
Fr. Dominic Borg, our Provincial Delegate is a Maltese Carmelite friar. He gave several talks throughout the day and these focused on our foundress St. Teresa of Avila since we are all preparing for the 500th anniversary of her birth. After his first talk, we had Mass. Just before Mass, one of our members was received into the community and received her scapular. During the Mass, one of the members of the French community made her first promises.
After our lunch break, we had exposition of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. During this time, we prayed the rosary, had a brief time of silent prayer then another talk by Fr. Dominic followed by another period of silent prayer. After Benediction, we had a short break then Fr. Dominic’s final talk. We closed by praying the Salve Regina (in Latin).
It was a wonderful day and left me spiritually refreshed. I enjoyed seeing members from the Kingston community whom we only see once a year. Last year it was their turn to host the Day of Reflection. The agenda for each of these days is the same, only the content of the talks is different. I noticed that there are a few stories that Fr. Dominic repeats each year. I am glad he does because it does me good to hear them again and also because the new aspirants also need to hear them.
Fr. Dominic gave us our study plan for the next several years. In our communities, we will be continuing to study the writings of St. Teresa of Avila. This year we read the “Book of Her Life”. Next year, we will read the Way of Perfection and the following year, we will read Interior Castle. As a member in formation, I have already started to study Way of Perfection and last year, as an aspirant, I stayed with the professed members during the formation period of the monthly meeting. They were finishing Interior Castle so I read that one between meetings so I could benefit from and participate in their discussion. So over the next two years, I will get an opportunity to review these works.