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Thursday, October 3, 2013

Holy Family Passionist Retreat Center Events

Holy Family Retreat Center Programs Focus on Spirituality and the Arts
“The arts are a powerful window to the sacred”

West Hartford, Conn. – Holy Family Passionist Retreat Center in West Hartford will offer a diverse lineup of Spirituality and the Arts programs this fall, from icon painting to bread baking to beautiful music.

Thursday, Oct. 24, begins a four-day icon painting retreat called “A Brush with God,” open to both men and women and presented by Rev. Peter Pearson.  Rev. Pearson will discuss the development of iconography, the spirituality of creating an icon and praying with icons, as participants follow step-by-step instructions and complete an icon of St. Therese of Lisieux.

Painting gives way to bread baking in November, as Sr. Elaine Betoncourt offers a delectable day-long retreat on Nov. 19, guaranteed to get folks into the Christmas spirit. Participants will bake a holiday Stollen, a traditional German sweet bread filled with fruit and spices.  The day will include time to prayerfully reflect on the symbolism of the ingredients and the process of bread-baking as they relate to daily living.

Master paper engineer and bookbinder Kathy Parulski invites families to an Advent afternoon retreat on Dec. 8, where they’ll learn the art of creating elegant snowflake mobiles.  Skip the mall and the craziness of the season’s rush for a few hours and join with others in creating light, beautiful, airy works of art using simple origami methods, while reflecting on the deep meaning of Christmas.

Can creative doodling of repetitive patterns lead to inner peace?  Find out at a special overnight retreat for men and women Dec. 13-14 that will introduce participants to the art of Zentangle.  Presented by Dr. Brandon Nappi and Kathy Parulski, the retreat will explore how Zentangle exercises and mindfulness meditation can help people of all backgrounds access peace and joy.  Laughter and discussion included.

The musical arts take center stage on Sunday, Dec. 22, when Holy Family presents Music for Advent and Christmas.  Offered at 2 p.m. and again at 7 p.m., the concert celebrates the joy and beauty of the season with the joyful and beautiful music for which the Retreat Center has become known.  Featured are adult, chamber, children, and handbell choirs, along with instrumentalists, soloists, and liturgical dance.  A reception follows each concert.  Both are sure to sell out, so register early. 

Holy Family is also home to the Golden Thread Gallery, a professional art gallery whose mission is to connect the human spirit through the arts. The current exhibit, STILLNESS, runs through Nov. 3, with LIGHT opening Nov. 14 and running through Jan. 4.

“The arts are a powerful window to the sacred,” said Dr. Brandon Nappi, associate retreat director at Holy Family. “In a world that is very much wrestling with questions of ultimate meaning, value, and morality, art can be an important reminder of the presence of mystery which flows through all of life.”

For more information on these programs, or to register, call the Retreat Office at 860-760-9705 or visit

Holy Family Passionist Retreat Center in West Hartford, Connecticut, is the largest Passionist ministry in the world and the largest Catholic retreat center in the United States.  Founded in 1951, Holy Family ministers to some 19,000 men, women, and youth each year with a message of hope, spiritual growth, and transformation.  Visit the Holy Family website at   

Contact:  Kathy Colello    860-760-9716; 

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