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New pope
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Retreat for men considering priesthood

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'All are welcome' at
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Presentation Sisters
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New Year's
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Senior events:
Aging and
spiritual growth

Pope: Don't forget
plight of elderly
abandoned by
own family

US longevity lags,
new report says

First person:
My journey to forgiveness and healing after abortion

Two days of
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Christmas offers
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placeholder January 6, 2014   •   VOL. 52, NO. 1   •   Oakland, CA
Senior events
Aging and spiritual growth

"The gift of these years is not merely being alive, it is the gift of becoming more fully alive than ever."

Joan Chittister




A retreat called "Aging and Spiritual Growth: The Creative Spirit in Aging," scheduled for Feb. 1 at San Damiano Retreat in Danville invites participants to look at aging not only as a gift of years but as part of an ongoing spiritual journey.

The spiritual journey doesn't end as we age, said Lorraine Steele, who coordinates retreats and works in marketing at San Damiano. The gift of years can lead to new insights or even to a metamorphosis about one's spirituality, she added.

The act of embracing the aging process rather than denying or trying to flee from it is good for the brain as well as spiritual wellness, Steele said.

People in their 40s and 50s and 60s, who have participated in this retreat in the past, begin to allow themselves to be "open to possibilities that they didn't have time to do before," Steele said. That can include using the creative arts to grow or "expand one's every day thinking."

The focus on spiritual growth is a popular topic at the retreat center where much of the clientele is growing older.

Best-selling author and lecturer Sister Joan Chittister, OSB, also discussed this topic in her book, "The Gift of Years: Growing Older Gracefully." The book is so popular at the center that "we can't keep it in our gift shop," Steele said.

Retreat leader Rena Grant, who has a long history at the retreat center, along with Elizabeth Bell, a consultant, coach and facilitator from Sacramento, will present the Feb. 1 retreat. During the day, which begins with registration at 9 a.m., time will be set aside for prayer, music which will help provide the means for participants to explore and reflect on the gifts of aging.

The retreat costs $65, which includes lunch. For more information contact San Damiano at 925-837-9141 or visit the center's website at www.sandamiano.org.

 
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