Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Lately our mission groups have stayed in retreat houses during the week, a choice that gives us an unbeatable combination of good food, quiet (except for the critters, see below), beautiful surroundings, and simple lodgings. Our eye surgery group, like the February General Medical Mission volunteers, stayed at the Casa de Retiro Santisima Trinidad - the Holy Trinity Retreat House - in Candelaria, about 20 minutes away from our work place, the Hospital Nacional de Cojutepeque.
Santisima Trinidad is run by the Carmelite Sisters of Saint Teresa, the same community that runs the Hospital Divina Providencia, the cancer hospice in San Salvador where Monseñor Romero lived and died. They're a lively and friendly group of Sisters and we've enjoyed getting to know Sisters Mari, Paty, Francesca and Amparo.
Santisima Trinidad is set on the hills above Lake Ilopango, and the chapel and dining room look out on the lake. The gardens are full of flowers, especially at this season-changing time of the year. And the beautiful fountain - it's the trinitarian fountain of St. John of the Cross - is home to toads with some of the deepest, loudest, and most demanding calls I've ever heard. There was also a nightly dog chorus...but after the first night, we mostly slept through it all.
Indeed, a sweet retreat, and a perfect home for our mission team.