2018 Online Advent Retreat – Priory Institute

2018 Advent Retreat

A Journey through Advent to Christmas

A Reading of the Gospels through Lectio Divina

Advent can be the ‘lost season’ as we get caught in the hustle-bustle of Christmas decorations, shopping and parties! Yet there is an invitation given to us by the Scriptures of the Advent Season to be still and calm, to enter into a spirit of preparation for the Christmas celebrations. Advent helps us to recall the First Coming of Christ two thousand years ago but also to prepare for the fulfilment of Christ’s promise of His Second Coming, His return in glory.

This year, the Priory Institute offers a retreat based on the Gospels of the four Sundays of Advent and the Gospel Reading for the Nativity of the Lord. This retreat is made up of five recorded sessions with presenters who will guide participants through a reflective reading of the Gospel Reading, following the format used by Lectio Divina communities. Watch these online reflections online in your quieter moments.

Lectio Divina is understood in this way:

Lectio Divina is an old Latin term that translates as “Sacred Reading” – Reading in which we encounter the presence of God in the Past and Today. It is a traditional way of reading Scripture which fosters communion with God and communion with one another.  It is a journey of Reading, Recognising, Responding, Resting In and Reflecting on the word of God. 

We do not read for information but for transformation of ourselves and our world.  Many are finding it helpful in deepening our relationship with Jesus Christ, celebrating his presence and activity in the world today, and challenging us to enter more fully into it. 

Lectio Divina is a way of Reading, a way of Prayer, a way of Doing Theology and a way of Building Community, and all at the same time.  It has the potential to usher in a whole “new spiritual springtime” in our personal lives and church today.

(from https://newrydominican.com/lectio-divina)

This year’s presenters are expert practitioners and facilitators of the Lectio Divina method:

Joseph Ralph, OP is a member of the Dominican Community in Newry and Director of Lectio Divina centre attached to that community. He formed the first Lectio Divina community there in 2011. Along with others, he continues to form and develop a growing number of Lectio communities each year.

Kate Byrne collaborates with fr Joseph Ralph in the facilitation of Lectio Divina at the Dominican Lectio Divina centre in Newry and co-ordinates meetings of the Dominican Coordinating Team (DCT).

Gary Toman, OP is a member of the Dominican Community in Dundalk and completing PhD studies at Queen’s University Belfast. Ordained in 1999, fr Gary has been a practitioner of Lectio Divina for many years, particularly during his time as Chaplain at QUB. He is an experienced preacher and retreat giver.

Ann-Mary Redmond is a graduate of the Priory Institute and has a particular interest in Lectio Divina. She is currently completing the Masters of Arts (Biblical Studies) programme here at the Priory Institute.

Brendan Clifford, OP is a Dominican and belongs to the community of Saint Mary’s, Cork. He has written extensively about Lectio Divina and has facilitated many Lectio Divina groups as a method of praying with the Gospels texts of Sundays and Solemnities. Presently he facilitates a Lectio Divina group on Monday mornings in Saint Mary’s Priory, Cork. 


The retreat will begin on Sunday the 2nd December and continue over the following five weeks.

Registration must be complete by 28th November.  

Retreat Delivery

This Advent retreat is offered entirely online with one video reflection per week.  Reflections are available cumulatively as the retreat progresses. The video reflections will be made available each Saturday and the final reflection on the Gospel Reading for the Nativity of the Lord will be available on Saturday 22.


€40, €30 Priory Institute Students/Alumni and unwaged. Group rates are available on request.  Register online at https://payment.prioryinstitute.com/events/advent-retreat-online-2018-reg-form

More Information

Email: [email protected]
Tel: +353 (0)1 4048124.

All are welcome