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Thanksgiving, Malvern Retreat House Style

November 23, 2017

By Anne M. McGlone

Thanksgiving for Malvern Retreat House members is more than just another holiday.  Retreatants during the weekend of Thanksgiving host a retreat entitled the Thanksgiving IHM retreat.  Men spend a weekend away from the hustle of daily living to pray, experience community and to prepare for the coming year.  It’s a decades old retreat; one in which men return year-after-year for renewal, formation and healing!

There are many other ways of celebrating Thanksgiving privately, with your family or in the company of serving those in need.  Here are some specific ways for you to celebrate Thanksgiving this year:

  • Pray grace with your family before your Thanksgiving meal; perhaps, share a story of God’s unfailing love and mercy during the past year in your meal-time chatter.
  • Take time to prepare a little Scripture study before or after the meal using 1 Thessalonians, “in everything give thanks” – in everything.  Quite often, family members insist on dwelling on the difficult times throughout the past year.  Your focus is to bring them in union with the Sacred Scriptures and the concept of gratitude and thankful hearts.
  • Ask the question –do you honestly believe that thanksgiving and prayer is a solution to anxiety in the family? Read Philippians 4:6
  • Do you know the Thanksgiving story? Sure, most of us know the history of pilgrims, Indians and the turkey but how many of us truly know the real story and its relevance to Christianity?
  • Reach out to those less fortunate this Thanksgiving. Volunteer in a homeless shelter, children’s hospital or in your local parish.  Vincent De Paul prepares packaged meals for those in need; an age-old tradition of giving.  Read Corinthians 9: 6-15.
  • What are you most thankful for this Thanksgiving? Before your meal, have everyone place their gratitude on an index card.  Read it after your prayer; save it for next year.  Begin to build a history of thankfulness.
  • Create a cork or bulletin board for this Thanksgiving posting all of the gratitude notes. Take a picture of it and place it on social media as a reminder of the uniqueness of your family.

Malvern Retreat House welcomes and invites  all seeking the will of God the Father; offering a vibrant center of evangelization for renewal, formation and healing.  During this blessed days of Thanksgiving, let us all share in the magnanimous gift of mercy and gratitude from the retreat house to the festive meal at your dining room table.  Happy Thanksgiving!


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