I have been a member of Pax Christi for 12 years. I am a member of the choir and also have cantored and played the piano for some services. The idea of a retreat was especially appealing this year with all of the problems we are facing at home and as a nation. I wanted a time to quiet my mind and learn more about the liturgy.
The retreat was more rewarding than I ever expected. It gave me new insights into the importance of the words that we often just repeat over and over again without giving them a lot of thought. I was a little nervous about being in such a small group and expected to speak up about such personal things as prayer and my thoughts about God, but my experience was so positive. I ended up in two different groups, was moved to a different group after the first small group meeting, and found both groups to be very enjoyable. It was nice to meet people that I didn't know and to exchange thoughts about the readings.
Fr. Joncas and Vicki Klima were both excellent presenters. I didn't know Vicki Klima and so enjoyed her very down-to-earth and sensible approach to our worship and prayers. I could definitely identify with many of the things that she said. And Fr. Joncas had me in tears when he talked about his feelings about the current state of affairs in our city, state, and country with the pandemic, rioting, and divisive politics. The words that really meant a lot to me are in the Eucharistic Prayer II for Reconciliation: "that .... discord is changed to mutual respect." It was a reminder to me that while I want those who disagree with me to still treat me kindly, I must also remember to still respect those who don't agree with me.
It was great to have the virtual choir, but I long for the day when we can go back to singing in the church again. I will be glad to go to rehearsals and to help with the music binders and to meet with the other choir members in person. During the retreat, we were reminded about the role of music and how music evokes emotions, which I sometimes forget. The description of how different kinds of music are used in movies to emphasize certain emotions was an excellent example of how influential it can be.
The time seemed to fly by for me, which is a good sign that the retreat was a success. Thanks to everyone who worked so hard on presenting it to us.