A Truly Great Cruise

5 Dec

Photo by Ray Hosler

The Caribbean Sea—how vast it is.

Be it midnight, early morning, late evening on the balcony of our stateroom— how calming, merely to sit and reflect, and be present to our God. There, when all is quiet save the whispers and rushing of the wind and the gentle sloshing of the sea, you can “hear” God calling you into the depths of intimacy, even fellowship.

We were aboard the Royal Caribbean Cruise Line’s Serenade of the Seas—all eighty-three of us, mostly from our own St Mary Magdalen Parish, Diocese of Orlando.

It was our 14th Cruise Retreat.

For me, it was a great retreat.  I experienced a renewal of energy, hope and commitment. We considered the challenges posed in today’s world. The active and energetic participation of our retreatants demonstrated deep, joyful faith and trust in God.

It was totally refreshing and inspiring. People shared precious moments in their lives. For example, one woman movingly spoke of her near-death experience. Her story touched us deeply.

But as in all true faith-gatherings, there was much laughter. Another woman kept us in stiches telling us how she and other ladies “confiscated” a Port Authority golf cart to make it back to the ship.

Four years earlier, at the end of our tenth retreat cruise, I had quite sincerely proclaimed, “This is my last cruise retreat.” Yet, I subsequently booked four more retreats.

The folks had a lot of fun teasing me about this retreat being my “Fourth Last Retreat Cruise”—especially when they learned that I had already booked our “Fifth Last Cruise Retreat,” number fifteen for all of us seafarers.

That seven-night cruise retreat is scheduled for October 2, 2016, departing from Fort Lauderdale, Fla.—with the first stop in Cozumel, Mexico; the second, in Labadee (RCCL’s private port in Haiti); and finally, in Falmouth, Jamaica. We will be aboard RCCL’s fabulous Allure of the Seas.

Conditions in the world can cause people to experience discouragement, sluggishness of spirit and in worse cases, depression and despair.

Committed Christians are moved to address these issues with a view to helping people rediscover hope through a renewal of faith in God.

At the suggestion of one gentleman, we are going to delve a bit into what makes us truly effective Catholic disciples. One source is Matthew Kelly’s “Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic.”

However, as we consider how we respond to the Lord’s call the “make disciples of all nations,” we will draw deeply from the Scriptures, the teachings of our Church and the experience of all retreatants.

And, dear readers, it will be a wide-open retreat, with everyone addressing the subjects at hand.

To join us in the 2016 cruise retreat, you may contact me or go directly to AnnetteTravels@aol.com

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2 Responses to “A Truly Great Cruise”

  1. Annette & Gary Moskop December 5, 2015 at 11:38 am #

    Henry,
    What a wonderful cruise! Mostly because of the fellow travelers from all across our beautiful U.S.A. and you Henry, our fearless leader!
    These past two decades of working with you have been my joy. Gary and I are honored to call you and Peg our special friends. We love you two!
    Have a most blessed Christmas.

    • Henry Libersat December 6, 2015 at 8:13 pm #

      And we love you both. Let’s make the next one the best yet;. And thanks for mentioning that our group included others who came from all over the U.S.A.

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