SASKATOON — Queen’s House of Retreat and Renewal in Saskatoon is the new setting for a nine-day facilitated program of inner healing and spiritual growth that originated at St. Therese Institute in Bruno, Sask.
The “Triumph: freedom through healing” retreat was developed by Jerry and Donna Kristian as a way to answer a profound need in every human heart to heal past hurts and find meaning through a deeper connection with God.
As one of the founders of St. Therese Institute and a former executive director and board chair, retired Saskatchewan businessman Jerry Kristian initiated the triumph program in partnership with his wife Donna, who served as director of healing and growth at the Bruno institute. Donna drew upon some 30 years of ministry experience, including parish and diocesan ministry, teaching, and leading Ignatian discernment.
“When we established the mission of St. Therese 10 years ago, God impressed on us the importance of healing in our spiritual growth and our relationship to others,” said Jerry. “To be formed as disciples of Christ we must deal with the hurts of the past and misconceptions we have picked up along the way about God, about ourselves — about everything.” The triumph retreat was conceived and developed as a way to answer that basic need.
Queen’s House provides an ideal location for the retreat, says Donna, noting the greater accessibility of the Saskatoon location and how the atmosphere of the retreat house will support and enhance the live-in experience.
Dates for the retreat at Queen’s House have been set for the next 18 months, being offered there for the first time July 29 to August 7, and then again in February, July and November of 2017.
The retreat is beneficial to all; it offers healing and spiritual growth to adults of every age and background, and in any state of life, say the Kristians. “It works for everyone at every level because the main encounter is to go deep into your heart and get rid of the junk, and rebuild that central relationship with Christ,” said Jerry. “That’s something everyone needs, including those who are offering ministry to others.”
The nine-day retreat includes facilitated teaching and spiritual direction, with two introductory days transitioning into five core days that are silent, before transitioning back out again, said Donna. “There is time for one-on-one; people are accompanied on their journey.”
The length of the retreat has been set to ensure that there is adequate time for the interior work that is needed to experience healing, according to the Kristians.
“It is not just about learning something new,” said Donna. “Nine days is long enough that people can go deep on the interior journey; long enough for people to begin to recognize patterns, their own inner movements and triggers, and take responsibility for those.”
Pointing to dozens of stories and testimonies from participants on the website, www.triumphretreat.com, Donna says it is a privilege to share in that process.