A blessed week with Dumb Ox Ministries

Our friends at Dumb Ox Ministries recently came over from the United States to lead a weekend retreat on Theology of the Body, called ECHO.

Taking place at our picturesque SPEC retreat centre, the Dumb Ox team led us in a series of informative and thought-provoking sessions on who each of us are as men and women, and who we are made to be.

Their charismatic, caring personalities were a great blessing, as they discussed the Theology of the Body materials with us.

The main sessions took place in the newly-refurbished Rotunda building, with its lovely sky windows, whilst everything else happened in the newly-built residential building.

There were also break-out sessions, called Family Group Meetings, where in small groups we discussed what was talked about in the main sessions. These resulted in engaging and informative conversations which could have easily gone on for longer.

We also had breakfast, lunch and dinner during the weekend, the latter two of which were particularly yummy. They were also a good opportunity for further chats with the other attendees.

In between food and sessions, we had time for fun activities, Mass and Morning Prayer. There was overnight adoration too, for those who wanted to take part.

As previously mentioned, most of the activities took place in the new residential building and this is where we stayed for the night. The rooms are all en-suite and contain bunkbeds, which were very comfortable.

Overall, it was an enjoyable weekend, with lots of great insights into our purpose and how we should live life to the full.

We hope to use the experience we’ve gained from the last two years to develop this Theology of the Body programme further. So watch this space!

After the ECHO weekend, we went with the Dumb Ox team to Walsingham, which was very enjoyable. We started with Mass at the Catholic shrine, followed by lunch at the Dowry House – home of the Community of Our Lady of Walsingham. They were very hospitable and lunch was great.

We then had a period of Adoration after lunch and a short break, before going to the grounds of the old abbey ruins. Learning about the history was fascinating, and one really got the sense that Walsingham used to be a great place of pilgrimage across Europe, before King Henry VIII and the Reformation.

We also enjoyed the company of the Dumb Ox team for a few more days, which included a Date Night for married couples. This consisted of a lovely meal, live music and a talk by Brian from the Dumb Ox team.

The following day we also had a Westminster Youth Ministry team retreat, which was led by the Dumb Ox team.

So overall, we had a great time with the folks from Dumb Ox Ministries and are immensely grateful for all the support and guidance that they have provided us.

We hope to build upon everything we learnt from this week and make the next ECHO retreat even better!