A group of faculty, staff and Brothers, representing nine areas of SMC campus life, met this past June 2014, at St. Joseph’s Camp on the Russian River for the 12th annual Rummery Retreat.
Brother Gerard Rummery, an exemplary scholar, traveled from Sydney, Australia to guide retreat participants in an exploration of the footsteps of John Baptist de La Salle. He was supported by Brothers Ron Gallagher, John O’Neill, and Dominic Ruegg and partners Carole Swain, Monica Fitzgerald, Ed Tywoniak and Sally Jamison. Retreat participants, from all religious traditions, as well as those with no religious affiliation, were given opportunities to engage in open dialogues about Lasallian heritage and spirituality.
“I came away more inspired by the worldwide LaSallian movement and I hope to become more involved as a lay partner in some capacity,” said Tim Farley, who has been director of Community and Government Relations for close to seven years. “I realized I am part of a worldwide community that is over 300 years old yet still very relevant to today. I was surprised at how good I felt afterwards.”
Historical and contemporary stories of De La Salle were highlighted through films and interactive presentations. Brother Gerard narrated the first viewing of the film, Memorandum on the Beginnings and introduced a film entitled Women in De la Salle’s Life and in the Lasallian World. Brother Ron shared a film, The Celtic Way, a personal reflection on Irish spirituality.
“It was wonderful to make new friends with other staff and faculty and, most especially, the Brothers,” said Priscilla Muha, who has been at Saint Mary’s for six years as director of Financial Aid. “There was time for reflection and exploration in the beautiful camp setting. We engaged in that famous Saint Mary’s Seminar process of learning about the life of Jean Baptiste de La Salle and the Lasallian mission. The retreat really helps one to focus on the mission of the College and acknowledges that we are all part of a community that encompasses many religions, ethnicities and life experiences which help provide our students with a wonderful and life-changing education.”