DYM Lent Retreat: The Desert Shall Blossom

DYM Lent Retreat: The Desert Shall Blossom

About the retreat

Lent is a season of penance and preparation to celebrate Our Lord’s Passover, which the Catechism calls “the Feast of feasts” and “the Solemnity of solemnities“(CCC 1169). During this time, the Church invites us into the spiritual desert, to encounter and to journey with God towards the promise of Easter. In this way, we are called to follow in the footsteps of the people of Israel, who were led by God through the desert, for forty years, into the promised land – a journey which our Lord Jesus perfects by his own journey into the desert, for forty days, to defeat the Tempter for us.

The Lenten image of the desert is a fruitful one to ponder on. For it is in the desert that God reveals His name to Moses through the burning bush. The people of Israel, through their desert wanderings, learn to trust God and are purified from their idols. And Jesus is baptised in the wilderness by St John the Baptist, thereby revealing the Triune God.

Over the course of this retreat, we will explore this image of the desert as it appears in salvation history. We will reflect on how, in the spiritual desert, God reveals Himself to us, purifies our hearts for Himself, and reveals to us who we are. As well as talks and meditations, there will be time for adoration and confession, and we will attend the Divine Office and Mass with the monks of Douai Abbey.

This retreat will be preached by Fr Nicholas Crowe OP, with a number of other friars also present throughout the weekend.

Who is it for?

The retreat is for any students and young professionals (aged 18-35).

Date and Timings

Friday 8th – Sunday 10th March

The retreat will begin on Friday evening, with arrivals between 4.00 – 5.30pm, and conclude after lunch on Sunday.

How to get there

Douai Abbey is a monastery of monks of the English Benedictine Congregation, under the patronage of Saint Edmund, King and Martyr, located outside Reading.

The nearest rail station is Midgham, a short taxi ride or 25 minute walk from the Abbey. If you are travelling by car and have space to offer a lift to others let us know. It may also be possible to arrange lifts from the station.

More information about how to reach the Abbey can be found on their website here:

Booking information

The retreat costs £60 for students and the unwaged and £120 for wage-earners. If you would like to attend but have financial difficulties for any reason please contact us. The full amount must be paid before your space is confirmed.

The deadline for registration is Monday 26th February.

To receive the booking form, and if you have any further questions, please email us:

Br John: or Br Jerome:

Below are some sample photographs from our Advent 2023 retreat last December at Douai Abbey.

The Godzdogz team consists of student brothers studying at Blackfriars Studium in Oxford.

Comments (2)

  • Ellen G. Peppler

    Sounds so tempting (sorry for the play on words), but I am neither young nor able to travel to the UK at this time. At some point, might any portion of this retreat be available online (a true wilderness)?
    Thanks for your reply!
    Pensacola, Florida

    • Br John Church

      Thank you for your message Ellen! I’m afraid we won’t be recording the retreat talks, sorry about that.
      God bless,
      Br John


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