tv Mosaic CBS May 8, 2022 5:30am-6:00am PDT
(upbeat music) good morning and welcome to mosaic i'm ron swisher. it is a joy to have you this morning, on behalf of dr. hugh burrows are producer and co- host. i was at a retreat two weeks ago in tahoe with my methodist men from the fairfield church. while i was there hugh burrows emailed me and he said he wanted to do the next program on spiritual retreats. he did not know that i was at a
spiritual retreat, and in fact he was going to host the program this morning, but he had to go out of town. so he asked me to do it. i'm delighted to have as our first guest, dr. thomas power, over the jesuit center retreat, great to have you tom. >> nice to be hit. >> tell us about the retreat. >> the place was founded back in 1925 and the jesuits at santa clara university, which was santa clara college back then, decided they wanted have a place where, at that time, men could go on retreat. it wasn't until the 1960s that women started coming. in february 7th, 1925, first mass was celebrated at the retreat house in the one building that was there, which was a house, and the house still stands which is where my office is. >> fantastic. >> since then, literally thousands and thousands of people come on retreat. normally there are retreats
that start on friday, they conclude shortly after lunch on sunday. there are silent retreats, retreats with talking, retreats for men, for women, both, a lot of mixers and a lot of different topics. >> how long have you been with the center? >> two years last friday. just going into my third year. >> can anyone come to the retreat center? >> anyone. in fact we have an amazing variety people coming. christians and non-christians, catholics, protestants, muslims , it is open everyone. obviously, because it is a jesuit retreat center, the society of jesus, the focus is primarily christian but we do have retreats for homeless men and homeless women. we have retreats for sk members from east l.a. for sk members from east l.a. we have retreats for young adults, for veterans, lots of
different topics. >> quite a variety tell us the location, we had beautiful pictures but did not get them in time. where is it located? >> funny that you ask, it is los altos, not exactly the poorest town in the bay area but as i mentioned, the property was purchased in 1925 for song, so we have 38 acres in los altos with views in every single location, a beautiful place with lots of paths on the property and places where people can go and be quiet, meditate. and also places where you can also have meetings. it is a welcoming environment. >> tell us a little bit about your background before we break you have a doctorate. >> systematic theology, my focus was on liberation theology when i wrote my dissertation but i did my research in peru. >> that is where it started.
>> indeed. >> and you came here with the interest of james cone. >> right. and women's liberation theology, you will find it has gone of every denomination, and religions and many different areas, the whole theme of liberation theology. >> we will come back to that and spiritual retreats, thank you for being with us. please join us in the next segment with dr. thomas powers from the jesuit center here in los altos.
welcome back to mosaic, i'm ron swisher. we've been speaking with dr. thomas powers from the jesuit center, the focus is on spiritual retreats and have you gone on a spiritual retreat? tell us what a spiritual retreat would be like. >> the jesuit retreat center is rooted in the reality of the founder of the jesuits, a very specific spirituality. it is difficult to pinpoint it to just a few words. one of the things ignatius always said is fine god in all things. his whole focus was to have people not just be private prayers, but people who prayed then went out into the world to change the world.
and to bring god to other people. to do good. >> that is excellent. i mentioned to you, our retreat with the methodist men, we not only wanted have spiritual growth and development, but also be active in our world. so that is the purpose of the retreat. >> absolutely. and in light of nations spirituality, jesuit spirituality is meaningless and you just go and nothing happens that you take with you when you leave the property or retreat. you come on a retreat to re- create and refresh, to become more centered, to be more in touch with god, all of that has to be a focus to go out into the world. i don't know if you know about the spiritual exercises of saint ignatius. spent somewhat. i was framed by the jesuits. >> university of san francisco, right. the spiritual exercises of
saint ignatius, primary form is a 30 day silent retreat, i died twice, it isn't impossible. >> yes and not checking your email. >> yes not checking your email, be careful and when you do the spiritual exercises at the retreat center we ask people to turn off their phones and computers but most do not want them back when they're done. the whole idea is it is a very intense experience where you are able to slow down and truly reflect on how it is that god is in your life, and how god is calling you to live your life. one of the things so important is at the very end of the spiritual exercises, ignatius wrote love is shown more in deeds, then words. it is great to be able to say the right stuff, but if you're not doing it it isn't working. >> i think about the mount of
transfiguration where people takes peter, james and john up into the mount, peter wants to stay, but when they come back down the cannot cast out the evil that is there. it takes prayer. one translation says it takes prayer and fasting. >> right. >> our efforts to be in solitude is to strengthen us in the world. >> right. it is an unusual experience, most people will not do a 30 day retreat. but the spiritual exercises are possible to do over a number of months. and where you are meeting with a spiritual director weekly. we do that at the retreat center also. we have eight day retreats, 30 day retreats, the weekend retreats extend from september through june. the last retreat of the season is this coming weekend. it is a retreat for women in recovery.
>> excellent. have you met some of the facilitators? >> i know them all. in fact, i work with the staff and the jesuit staff, they do a lot of the retreats. but we also bring people from the outside that are good at particular topics. in fact just before we came on, i got a call from one of the bishops who is going to do a retreat for us next year. >> okay. i just thought some notes i had taken i would like to share with you a few. john wesley asked his persons in their development of their classes. and he broke it down into image management, habit formation, self-deception, and the sin of idolatry. these are some of the questions that we look at in the last day of our retreat. m. mi honest in all my acts and words, or do i exaggerate?
can i be trusted, and my subconscious or self pitying or self-justifying? that is image. and did the bible live in me today, am i enjoying prayer and do i pray about the money i spend? and with self-deception, it is mi defeated in any part of my life? jealous, impure, critical, touchy or distressful? and if i am, what am i doing about it? and under idolatry, is there anyone who criticize or hold resentment toward or disregard? do i grumble and complain constantly, and his christ real to me? what do you think? >> ron, it is interesting, when you learn and the spiritual exercises it is a thing called the examined, or the examination of conscience. everyone is asked or trained to stop a couple of times a day. the questions you just posed
her very much the questions people are asked to pose to themselves. i say where was it that you found god? or where was it you might have about the absence of god and why? i do it in a physical way. were you pushing god away or were you telling god to come closer? it is a good habit to get into because you take the part of the day that preceded you, and say let's stop and look at that amendment. in our busy lives, that can be really important. we can go the whole day without even thinking about it. >> what is also challenging is to ask this in a group that you have confidence in. and you can be confidential about. but you shared some of those very questions with each other. it is not just individual growth, but it is collective response.
>> right. one of the other things we do at the retreat center is the peer father of program, one of the original jesuits with ignatius of loyola, and ignatius said he did exercises better than anyone else. a pretty big compliment. this teaches people to give exercises. >> thank you tom, i look forward to coming to that center. thanks for being with us. please join us in the next two segments with my car, also over in the retreat center.
here to tell us about this places, welcome. >> thank you. >> tells about some of the places you have. >> united camps conferences and retreats, uccr, and what we have done for 45 years is manage and operate camp conference and retreat centers throughout california. our customers come to our facilities really to unplug, relax, and look for a sacred space, and as you know retreating mean something different to everyone. >> that's true. we mentioned earlier about being renewed and restored and revitalized. we also mentioned there are different kinds of retreats. >> that is correct. >> people in recovery, people seeking other kinds of issues they need to deal with. that is available at your centers also. >> sure. yes. the types of retreat programs
that usually attend our facilities can be very spiritual in nature. retreats can also be movement, dance, singing, hiking. i think really the term retreat means to seek a safe haven. and for some people just to feel the earth beneath their feet is really important, just to get away from their normal, daily activities, and to engage with others. and maybe that is there retreat, or maybe the retreat is to really explore their spiritual experience while they are at one of our facilities. many of the programs that attend our facilities are led by a group leader. we have many types of programs that come through from youth programs, we have family programs, we have men's retreats and women's retreats, many different types of
retreats. what we are able to do it our facilities is to provide the behind-the-scenes operations, and to help lead these retreats so they are not distracted and what their focus is and what they are there to further. whether they are there to further themselves spiritually, or to be with an organization and accomplish larger bowls with that organization. >> i've heard you been doing it a long time, how many years? >> almost 45 years, i've been involved in this business since the mid-80s. during that time i've seen a variety of groups come through. i have seen yoga retreats, i have seen tai chi, we've even had retreats that focused on laughing. laughing opens up the spirit, it opens you up physically even. so we are exposed to a lot, and our staff that manages our facilities, they have this opportunity to experience a lot
of these retreat types that come through. and we have quite a long staff retention but i think it is because a variety of these wonderful groups of people that come through that they get to serve. >> i'm fascinated about where you began. >> yes, glide memorial church did united camps conferences retreat was started by a group of bay area pastors during the 60s they were getting together regularly to talk about how different the 60s were from the 50s. during those meetings, ron, they discovered that they each had maybe a retreat center, conference center, or camp center, they were using for their own retreat. they would go and blow off the dust and creep the doors open and get in there and do their own thing. that was a few times a year. but these beautiful properties, some on 800 acres, 1000 acres,
beautiful properties, as they got to know each other they came up with a business idea of why don't we start to use each other's facilities? let's take our retreats and moved to each other's facilities. so they started that. and they said let's open these beautiful places to the public. everybody needs a retreat. everybody needs to get away from normal life and find something different. and so the business started. >> let's name some. >> the conference center in aptos, california. pilgrim pines conference center which is in you kuiper, california. southern california. and speaking of dr. tom powers here with the jesuit retreat center, they have another retreat center in the sierras called jesuit retreat center of the sierras. >> that is auburn. >> right outside auburn.
>> yes. >> and westminister retreat in alamo. currently we manage 13 different properties. we have upwards of hundreds of thousands of retreats that come to our facilities. >> where are you located? >> our office is in petaluma, it started in glide memorial church, the first few years that was in glide church in downtown san francisco. very historic, religious center really. then they moved across the bay later in the 70s and we've continued moving north. we always try to stay central to all of our facilities. we ourselves come in our organization, feel strongly about the staff retreats so we get all our stuff together several times a year to talk about business that we also slow down those retreats and give staff opportunity to relax. >> you were there in the early 60s at glide.
>> correct. >> cecil williams came in the mid-60s, in fact there is a new biography out that is exciting, beyond possible. they probably did not know as much about you then but i'm sure they heard about you. >> yes that was our genesis point. >> so good. i will look forward to probably going to one of those centers. i was in tahoe. >> you thzeyr ce. ected ough >> no. a beautiful facility, very nice. i imagine that you and many of your colleagues and peers have attended retreats and conferences at our facilities. >> i've heard the names, many others you have mentioned it let's come back in the last segment and talk more about those locations and about the retreats. you have been talking to my
earlier about that this morning. just unplugging from everything. don't know if you've heard the phrase unplugged, but there is unplugged like unplug your phones and your fax machines and computers, get away from that. then there is the term unpack. when you come to our facilities, there is the physical unpacking of your bag. but then there is the unpacking, you are away from all of the plugged in things and it is time to unpack. find something new. you have the opportunity to find something new. the second part is to connect, you disconnect from all of that. but when you're at a retreat center the best thing to do is to connect. people come to a retreat centers to come times connect with themselves, they are disconnected and now they need to connect with themselves. obviously they are there to connect with others as well. community and team building as well.
at retreats, people often will sit and share and laugh. they might hike together, often they sing together. they might go out and play volleyball or shoot hoops together. >> we found things out about each other that we did not know, so great on that retreat. >> thank you, ron. that is one of the most important things, when you are unplugged and in that retreat setting, your focus changes, you get to know yourself and you get to know others better. accomplish goals. the groups come to the facilities of hours to accomplish goals, usually furthering their mission of why they are there. whether it is individual, or a group that needs to accomplish and further their mission. and of course, r&r. rest and relaxation. and to have time during your retreat, if you're doing group processing, make sure that you
and your participants have time to nap, take a hike. again, they are unplugged so this is an opportunity to learn more about themselves and about the others they are with. >> we have touched upon that to a certain extent. it is great to hear some of the reasons why we go on retreats. dr. thomas powers, which was i was amiss to mention, not only was he a jesuit, but of course the first pope elected as a jesuit. pope francis. we commend them in that respect. because he not only of course, has been emphasizing retreats in solitude, but he's also involved in the world and concerned about the poverty of the world and the injustice and inequity. again when we do all those things, disconnect, build
community, we want to go back into the world and be able to give what we have experienced. >> absolutely. and i think with retreats, the opportunity to retreat, and then going back into the community, i've been saying this for decades, but it makes our communities better. often times the organizations that use our retreats as organizations fill the cracks. spent thank you. i'm ron swisher, thank you for joining us, go out and be renewed and restored at one of the retreats. come to those centers.
there was a shooting in the parking lot of the sun valley mall in concord. we have the latest developments from overnight. this is a terrible situation. i hope the families can recover and get some semblance of peace. under the california pilot was good when her plane clashed into the marin headlands. researchers are projecting an energy shortfall. the warriors got a big win in front of their home crowd, stopping the grizzlies in game three of the playoff series. good morning.
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