Thirteen of us shared cars to benefit from this weekend retreat entitled ‘Into the Silent Land’, led by the Community of Our Lady of Walsingham in Dowry House, a renovated grade 2 listed building which accommodated pilgrims in the 15th century and located right opposite the Abbey grounds which housed the original Holy House.

Zygmunt Rakowicz, a shrine administrator, welcomed us on behalf of the Shrine and gave us a short history of the shrine, its place in England’s spirituality and current developments and handed out complimentary tickets to the Abbey grounds.

Sr Camilla had included free time in the timetable to visit these grounds and other sites of interest.  She introduced us to the spirituality of Walsingham: to make of our hearts a holy house.  Her 4 talks emphasized the need for silence in order to hear God speak and, with challenging passion, encouraged us in our lives of prayer and growth in holiness and gave time to anyone needing an individual chat.  We were particularly encouraged to read ‘Into the Silent Land’ by Martin Laird and Pope Francis’ ‘The Call to Holiness’.

We finished our retreat with Mass at the Shrine, live streamed daily at 12 noon on

I felt it was a blessed time for us all.  One participant wrote:  “It was very inspiring and the location very special.  I know I will be reflecting on it for some time ahead.”