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November 20, 2020, Adrian, Michigan - Adrian Dominican Sister Janet Schaeffler, OP, author of numerous Advent reflection books, offers the opportunity to share an Advent journey with familiar women and men from Scripture.

Supportive Companions for our Advent Journey: A Virtual Retreat” is offered from 7:00 p.m. EST Sunday, December 6, 2020, through 11:30 a.m. EST Thursday, December 10, 2020. This time of prayer, input, conversation, liturgy, and quiet invites participants to reflect with fresh eyes on faithful people living with the same questions, worries, joys, and challenges we experience today.

In light of the pandemic, Weber Retreat and Conference Center offers this virtual retreat for free, but donations are appreciated. Please register to receive a link to the retreat at www.webercenter.org; click on “programs.” Registrations may also be made by calling 517-266-4000 or emailing webercenter@adriandominicans.org

October 12, 2020, Detroit – At a time of harvest in the northern United States, Sister Janet Schaeffler, OP, has written a bumper crop of spiritual material: her 2020 booklet of Advent reflections, Miracles Abound, and a book on spiritual reflections and practices on aging, Let This Be the Time: Spiritual Essentials for Life’s Second Act.

Both works are meant to help people on their spiritual journeys. Miracles Abound offers short reflections based on the Scripture readings for each day of Advent, as well as suggested practices and short prayers. It is the latest of several Advent booklets that Sister Janet has written through the years.

A retreat leader and a consultant for catechists and adult faith formation leaders, Sister Janet also once served as Director of Adult Faith Formation for the Archdiocese of Detroit. A recipient of the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership (NCCL) Distinguished Service Award, she has written numerous books and resources for catechists.

“A lot of people will use the booklet because it’s short,” Sister Janet said. “I think this method of a short reflection book for Advent is a way of helping people in that whole busy-ness to reflect on what it really means.”

Sister Janet noted that Advent is a challenging time for Christians who want to prepare spiritually for Christmas. In our culture, she said, the emphasis is on getting ready for Christmas by buying the best gifts or putting up the best decorations. The message from our culture mitigates the spirit of Advent and draws away the time and attention of Christians, she said.

Over the years, Sister Janet has heard from people who appreciated her Advent booklets. “What I hear most from people is that it connects their faith with their everyday life in a way that they can understand,” she said.

A prolific writer, Sister Janet said that she has always written books at the request of publishers. Twenty-Third Publications asked her to write a book on the spirituality of aging – a topic she had covered already in workshops and retreats. She said she was glad to be asked to write on the topic because of the way society refers to aging – “as if it’s about diminishing and frailty and not being productive anymore.” Ageism, she said, is “the greatest bias in our country – the way we dismiss older people, their wisdom, their experience.”

Sister Janet, on the other hand, believes that aging is an important part of the spiritual journey of human beings. “Spirituality touches on every part of our life,” she said. “Our journey is a spiritual journey, a journey of holiness, a journey of wholeness and deepened relationship with God and other people.”

In the area of aging, Sister Janet said, Christians need to be counter-cultural. “We have to come to our own healthy, wholesome outlook on life,” she said. “Yes, there will be limitations as we grow older, but how do we approach those losses? How do we look at these years of life?” 

Let This Be the Time focuses on 12 needs adults have in the second half of their lives. Each chapter concludes with questions that could lead to personal or group reflection, as well as a list of suggested actions. “My hope is it will help people to think more reflectively and deeply about what’s happening at this point in their lives, so that the real meaning and the vibrancy of life can be lived,” Sister Janet said.

Both Miracles Abound and Let This Be the Time are available through Twenty-Third Publications or the Weber Center Shop at Weber Retreat and Conference Center in Adrian. To order copies from the Weber Center Shop, call or email: 517-266-4035 or webershop@adriandominicans.org.



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