Thursday, July 24, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Silence on top of the hill: A place to ‘unplug’ like St. Francis

retreat_book_couple 5_14_14

Bruce and Ruth Davis lead the Silent Stay Retreat Hermitage in Vacaville. (Robinson Kuntz/Daily Republic)

By
From page B5 | May 17, 2014 |

VACAVILLE — Vacaville resident Bruce Davis has two stories.

First as best-selling author and second, along with his wife, the role of “silent” retreat operator both in Assisi, Italy, and on top of a hill in Vacaville.

The two converge when you add two important people to the mix: St. Francis and St. Clare of Assisi.

An avid scholar of St. Francis, Davis – who is 64 but professes to feel 35, just published his latest book ,”The Love Letters: Saint Francis and Saint Clare of Assisi Meet Pope Francis,” which is a compilation of fictional letters between the two saints. The basis of the book is a love letter he originally wrote to his wife for Valentine’s Day via his role as a contributing columnist to the Huffington Post.

While Davis wrote the letter to his wife, the letter was portrayed as being from Clare to Francis.

“It’s a little arrogant to pretend I’m St. Francis, so I did it from St. Clare to St. Francis,” he said. “But it doesn’t matter, it’s still a love letter.”

After it was printed in the Huffington Post, one “letter” led to two and then three and finally the book, which was written in the first few weeks of Pope Francis’ selection.

Davis, who has his Ph.D. in psychology, called St. Francis a “troubadour, a hippy of his day” – someone who enjoyed being in nature outside the city walls.

“He gave up the stressful life of the 12th century and dropped out,” Davis said with a chuckle. “It was liked unplugging. St. Francis was inspired by peace and quiet.”

That’s what the Davises’ retreats are all about – “the gifts of silence” and learning to live simply.

The two held the first retreat in Italy 12 years ago – Simple Peace Retreat Hermitage was voted one of the top retreats in Travel & Leisure magazine in 2008 and by CNN in 2011. They still own the Italian retreat, but two years ago they were visiting their children in the Bay Area and discovered the rural Pleasants Valley area of Vacaville and moved.

They established their second retreat, modeled after the first. It’s Silent Stay Retreat Hermitage, a rambling hilltop abode on 25 acres. Davis said that the retreats aren’t “about religion” and added that people of all religions come from many countries for some coveted peace and quiet. Many people who stay are in the middle of a life transition, be it divorce or illness – or there are those who just want a break, Davis said.

“People are so wound up with their story and their stress,” Davis said. “I can talk to someone for an hour but it would be much better for them to have peace and quiet for an hour.

“We’re very happy here in Pleasants Valley. We wanted to create a quiet place and invite people to experience it.”

Along with Davis’ latest book, which is 100 pages and designed to be a slow read, meditative book, he has also written “Hugs & Kisses” with Genny Wright, “The Magical Child Within You,” “The Heart of Healing,” “Monastery Without Walls,” “My Little Flowers” and “The Calling of Joy.”

For more information on the retreats, go to www.assisiretreats.org or www.silentstay.com.

Reach Susan Winlow at 427-6955 or swinlow@dailyrepublic.net. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/swinlowdr.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

 
City buys PG&E property for train station project

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A1

Artists with trowels transform highway wall

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
 
County court employees rally against cuts, furloughs

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Crews to begin Vacaville slurry seal street project

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A3

 
2nd candidate eyes Vacaville mayoral run

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Bertani schedules town hall meet

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

 
Inmate wants $47,657 for artwork he says guards took

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A4

Incumbent Hunt to run for Vacaville council seat

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A4

 
Vacaville police arrest fugitive Dezmon Frazier

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A4

Accused foster father testifies in murder trial

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A4

 
Sesame Street USO tour visits Travis

By Staff Sgt. Christopher Carranza | From Page: A5 | Gallery

Fairfield police log: July 21, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

 
Weather for July 24, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: B10

Fairfield police log: July 20, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

 
Suisun City police log: July 22, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

Suisun City police log: July 21, 2013

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

 
Suisun City police log: July 20, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

Fairfield police log: July 22, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

 
.

US / World

Lawsuit tests racial policy at California prisons

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 2 Comments

 
40 bodies from jet solemnly returned to Dutch soil

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Honduran families deported back to a bleak future

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Lockdown lifted at Little Rock Air Force Base

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

US pushes for truce as Gaza battle rages

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Casualty numbers raise questions about Gaza war

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

.

Opinion

Good men lost due to Bergdahl

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A7

 
Is Logue tripping over words?

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A7

 
.

Living

Community Calendar: July 24, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
Today in History for July 24, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Horoscopes for July 24, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

 
.

Entertainment

4-day Comic Con festival kicks off in San Diego

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Filmmaker Michael Moore’s divorce is finalized

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

CBS says Colbert keeping CBS’ ‘Late Show’ in NYC

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
CBS event marks civil rights anniversary

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

.

Sports

Pence drives in 3, Giants beat Phillies 3-1

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Raiders start to arrive for start of camp

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Tight end Vernon Davis arrives at 49ers training camp

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Cespedes hits 2 HRs, A’s hold off Astros 9-7

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Big innings fuels 16-1 Expos victory in Area 1 opener

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Testimony ends in trial over $2B Clippers sale

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Playful Pole wins Tour stage, as Nibali marches on

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
4 Cities to meet with USOC about 2024

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Mavericks’ Felton pleads guilty in NYC gun case

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Chiefs, running back Jamaal Charles reach deal

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Seattle’s Sidney Rice announces his retirement

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Broncos owner giving up control due to Alzheimer’s

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

.

Business

Stopping deadly oil train fires: New rules planned

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
US economy, though sluggish, may now be sturdier

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

GM issues 6 more safety recalls

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
.

Obituaries

Mary Bell Scrivner Sanders

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Arturo Montenegro

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Joseph Ross Smith Jr.

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Shirley T. ‘Mac’ McFadden

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 5 Comments

.

Comics

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9