This winter edition of our newsletter appears at the beginning of Advent. It is a time of joy and expectation, a time of waiting and longing, during which we prepare ourselves for Christmas when we celebrate the revelation of God’s love in the Child of Bethlehem.

Advent also marks the beginning of the year of consecrated life. This initiative of pope Francis has inspired us in our choice of the retreat theme for 2015: I have called you by name. Every baptised Christian has been called to, in the words of cardinal Newman, ‘do Him some definite service’. In the retreats we will reflect on our vocation in life and take time to listen and discern the ways in which we have been called and our response.

Reflecting on this, I realise that over the years many people have generously followed the call to use their gifts in support of the life and ministry of our retreat centre. This happens through volunteering, financial support and prayers. Minsteracres couldn’t exist without this.

As we approach the end of this year I take the opportunity to thank you for your generosity and I hope you will continue to support us in the new year. Other articles in this newsletter show that 2015 promises to be an exciting year!

I end by wishing you a joyful Christmas with many blessings for 2015!

Fr. Jeroen Hoogland CP