On May 16-18, the Young Adults had their annual retreat at the beautiful Camp Saint Joseph in the Russian River Valley. Here is the second of four reflections from our retreat guests.
Holy Father Dominic, pray for us!
This was my first year attending the St. Dominic’s YAG Retreat. Though the theme involved “learning to stop worrying and love myself,” the beginning of the experience actually made me start worrying. Registration closed before I could commit. That was eventually resolved, but then meetings at work ran late the first day, my carpool fell through, and I forgot a few things at home. My stress level continued to rise as I sat in traffic dreading being “that guy” who missed the registration deadline, showed up late, and generally ruined everything.
But, as it turned out, God had something else in mind for me. I found an alternate route through beautiful forests and rolling hills for the remainder of my journey. I arrived in the midst of a wine and cheese social with a picturesque view of the Russian River, and 20 other people had yet to arrive. Instead of feeling left out, I was asked to read at the first prayer service that night, and my nonchalant decision to bring my guitar, “just in case,” made me a de facto accompanist for Mass music. This gave me the pleasure of playing with our stellar choir and amazing pianist. The Lord provides, indeed.
I found myself immersed in a series of beautiful Masses and prayer services, small group discussions, early morning runs, challenging questions, heartfelt keynote talks, and late-night philosophical debates. Through all these experiences, I truly did learn about how to stop worrying so much. But what struck me most was the wonderfully rich community St. Dominic’s fosters. I connected with complete strangers, and we were all immediately willing to open up to each other about our struggles and deep-seated convictions. This is the sort of relationship I have been able to find nowhere else in San Francisco. And with that under my belt, when the next retreat comes around, my inevitable late arrival won’t worry me so much.