On Friday Pope Francis completed his week-long retreat with the curial officials (essentially, the Vatican administrators) at Casa Divin Maestro in Ariccia, about fifteen miles outside of Rome. The five-day retreat was based on the Spiritual Exercises, which is fitting given that the Pope is a Jesuit.
We have not gotten around to listing retreat centers in Italy on CatholicRetreats.net, but we were surprised to find that the retreat center had an English website option. If you want to take a closer look at where the Pope and the Vatican officials spent their week on retreat, the website is Here.
All of the news stories about the retreat focus on Pope Francis riding the bus to the retreat with everybody else last Sunday evening, but the real significance that we should take from this is that the Pope set aside the time to leave for a week on retreat. Pope Francis is a VERY busy man, and he probably spends more time in prayer each day than most of us spend in a week. He still found it important to drop everything for a week and get away, outside of town, for a retreat. And he took all of the Vatican officials with him. This might not be good for productivity, but we certainly want our church leaders in a good spiritual condition.
And hey, if it is important enough for Pope Francis and the curia to drop everything for a week and get away on retreat, what does that mean for you and me?