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A Retreat in San Francisco

July this year was very special for my family and me; my son, daughter, their partners and children all travelled from Australia to San Francisco to share with our son and brother and his new bride in their wedding.

Some of us arrived in time for my grandson to enjoy his birthday with the rest of USA (he was born on the 4th July), and the wedding was to take place at the end of our holiday, in Monte Rio, in the wine country north of San Francisco. I was invited to join the family in the middle of these two events on a trip to LA, Disneyland and Universal Studios! I graciously declined and looked for somewhere more relaxing to spend a few days – I found it in a little apartment as a guest of The Community of St Francis in The Mission neighbourhood, Franciscan sisters in the Episcopal Church.

sf-retreat-midMy lovely little apartment was under the chapel (reminding me of retreats at New Norcia) with a kitchen, living room, bedroom and bathroom. My window looked out into a beautiful garden of summer flowers. Much of their income comes from hospitality but this was still the cheapest accommodation I had in California.

San Francisco Street ArtAs well as taking time to meditate in silence, I managed to attend evening prayers every day and enjoyed sharing with the Sisters. The Community is based in the Mission area so I had a wonderful time trying out Mexican food while I was there. This is also the area of San Francisco featuring street art which was amazing!

Did I miss out on Disneyland? Yes, but what a wonderful space I found myself in, where I could take time to rest and prepare for the wedding, review what I had to do at the wedding, and pray for my son and my wonderful new daughter-in-law!

– Sandy Clifton (from the August 2014 newsletter)

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Image: San Francisco Street Art by Sandy Clifton

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