Event Details

Learn to Pray in a Day

April 13, 2024 9:00 am
Learn to Pray in a Day: Four ancient prayers forms you will come to love.
Cost: $100; financial aid available.
Saturday Program 9:00 am to 4:00 pm (includes lunch).

Please contact us at contactus@sandamiano.org if affordability is an issue. We are committed to providing access regardless of financial circumstances. Donations are gladly accepted!

Cancellation policy
Overnight or Multi-day/weekend retreats: $50 fee. Day Retreat: $20. Fees may be applied to future retreats. The fees may be waived in event of extenuating circumstances. Contact Kateri at 925-837-9141 x315.

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About the Event

Learn to Pray in A Day. This program is a new initiative we are just starting at San Damiano. Many of the beautiful, ancient prayers forms which used to be in common use in Christian (and other) settings have fallen into disuse. Hundreds of years ago, the contemplative way, or contemplative prayer specifically was the standard for most prayer. Over the years, many of these prayer forms have become less accessible. San Damiano and leading, and qualified instructors in these prayer forms are going to give you a chance to experience four of these prayer forms in a single day! 

These will include: Lectio Divina, The Labyrinth, Visio Divina and the Novena. 

Don’t let the names put you off, they are way simpler than that, and you will come away with not just exposure to these prayers forms, but you will have practiced them and be ready to use them whenever you want. Here are the simple descriptions:

Lectio Divina: Divine Reading, meditating on the words you are reading, whether scripture, poetry or prose, there is meaning within. This prayer form will help you find it. Margaret Riley will lead this program, an expert in this field.

The Labyrinth: Walking a labyrinth is a very prayerful experience. Maybe one you have not experienced before. Whether you are new to walking a labyrinth, or a seasoned walker, this is a great opportunity to experience the peace and beauty of the labyrinth. Each walk will be done in groups, and you’ll be introduced and welcomed to the walk by advanced labyrinth facilitator, Paula Jenkins. 

Visio Divina: Seeing is believing. This is never truer with this powerful and simple prayer for when we gaze at the beauty surrounding us. It can be an image or a sacred place in our lives. Dr. Michael Cunningham will show you can simply by gazing at an image in this meditative prayer form can change our perspective and deepen our relationship with God. 

The Novena: Dr Carrie Rehak will show how this nine-day prayer form can be used to meditate and pray over almost any issue or topic affecting your life or those around you. It’s a way to go deep without a guide and create your own most meaningful prayer in no time at all. 

Date: 13th April 2024
Saturday Program 9:00 am to 4:00 pm (includes lunch)

The instructors:

Margaret Riley has been a Spiritual Director since 2008, when she became certified via the Mercy Center in Burlingame, CA. Her Spiritual roots are Christian in the Roman Catholic Church, but in her practice as a Spiritual Director and retreat presenter, she enjoys companioning spiritual seekers from any tradition (or no tradition).

Margaret obtained a Master’s degree in Pastoral Ministry from the Franciscan School of Theology, Berkeley, CA. (FST/GTU) in 2004. She has joyfully lived in the Bay Area for over 31 years and has been a full-time Minister in the Diocese of Oakland since 1994. Margaret’s study, understanding and experience of spirituality is born of a great variety of sources, including but not limited to the Ignatian tradition, Social Justice work, Addiction Recovery and 12-Step spirituality, Codependency recovery, Divorced/Widowed healing, Grief and Loss, Incarceration/Justice work, Mindfulness/Meditation, and Franciscan Spirituality.

Paula Jenkins is a Veriditas trained labyrinth facilitator, certified life coach, and holds a Master of Arts in Religion from Yale Divinity School. For many years, she led the young adult team at San Damiano. She is the author of Jump Start Your Joy: Heart-Centered Ways to Find Joy in the Messy Middle, and the host of Jump Start Your Joy, a podcast that looks at how people choose joy in their lives. She is passionate about the labyrinth and sharing it with others as a spiritual and meditative tool.

Dr. Michael Cunningham, OFS, completed his MA in Ministry at St. John’s Seminary in Brighton, MA, and his Doctorate in Ministry at Catholic University in Washington, DC. He is the Executive Director of San Damiano Retreat in Danville, CA. Michael is married with four children and eleven grandchildren and is an avid writer, photographer and motorcyclist. Michael is a Retreat Master and Spiritual Director.

Dr. Carrie Rehak is the Director of Outreach and Programs at San Damiano Retreat and an experienced retreat facilitator and presenter. Her extensive experience covers a wide range of spiritual activities, including ministry, program development, and delivery of many academic and spiritual programs. Dr. Rehak has designed and led programs at High School, Undergraduate, Graduate, and Postgraduate levels. In addition to her spiritual and theological work, Carrie is an artist who has been active in the Bay area’s spiritual communities for many years.