Earlier this week, Sister and I headed up to Lake Barkley in Kentucky for a regional meeting/conference/retreat for the catechetical leaders from eight surrounding dioceses. Although we could only go up for two days, instead of the full four, it was wonderful to escape work for a bit- while still being refreshed in our mission as catechists.
It was a beautiful location. I hadn’t really known what to expect, so my expectations were automatically exceeded.
There was a lodge with several hundred rooms, with each room having a private balcony overlooking Lake Barkley. The rooms were very rustic, as you would expect, with vaulted wood ceilings, soft lighting and wood and stone everywhere.
The “Lodge” was actually a covered walkway outside with little bridges to our individual rooms. Then the walkway led to a large building with a restaurant, game room, etc.
Our first evening, we had a little visitor below our rooms:
The next morning after Mass, I skipped out of the breakout sessions and spent the morning reading and walking by the lake. We were blessed with beautiful weather.
Here you can sort of see how the Lodge is built as a U:
That afternoon, there was an optional boat ride on a house boat. There’s something incredibly relaxing about being surrounded by water.
Bishop Steib of Memphis seemed to enjoy the relaxing trip, too:
I don’t know if you can see it in this picture above, but there’s a nest on top of this tall marker — during the flood in May, you could drive past this in a fishing boat (not to mention the double-decker house boat we were in) and look down into the nest. When I heard that, I got chills– in the middle of a 60,000 acre lake, imagining the water level that high, the water that would be present for that to be possible, the damage that water would do in Nashville… it really hit home.
It was a beautiful, relaxing, rejuvenating few days. Not only did I have much-needed quiet, personal time, it was also fun to spend time with everyone, like the local DREs. I knew many of them from our classes or from the DRE meetings, but it was fun to get to know them better over dinner, drinks, or on a boat ride. I was the youngest person there, but that generally doesn’t bother me too much. We all have the same mission, and when the mission is as hard as it is, it’s important to support each other.