First, congratulations and thanks to the Knights of Columbus and all the other family members and parishioners who helped with the Special Olympics basketball tournament last Saturday. I saw a lot of life there when I stopped by. It’s inspiring, and a source of (good) pride to see our parishioners so involved in such a fine work! Thanks to the Knights for their good works!
Next I wanted to let you know that I just found out that there is nobody in charge of the parish retreat this year. Last year we started a new format; and the plan was to use the same format every year, yet changing out the video segments from our FORMED subscription, so we would meditate on different topics from year-to-year. Last year we chose a portion of Brant Pitre’s Eucharist series. There are so many great teachings on FORMED, ready at hand for us to watch and discuss. In addition to FORMED segments last year, we included some parishioner faith testimonies and a time of adoration with confessions, and lunch together. Not a bad program at all, I believe. That is what happened last year, and I heard some pretty good feedback on it. Anyhow, it is probably my fault that I did not understand how leadership of the retreat was determined from year to year, and therefore follow-up did not happen to determine the next year’s leadership. So just recently I was surprised to learn that nobody is in charge of organizing the retreat for this year.
Along with this fact is another related one: I agreed to give an 8-day retreat to Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity in Memphis, Tennessee, running from Ash Wednesday through the following Wednesday. It is actually, in a way, one of the worst times to be away from the parish, given that it is the beginning of Lent. That first weekend in Lent is when our parish retreat is usually scheduled. (Still I assumed we would call a substitute priest for confessions during the retreat.) I have not done anything with Mother’s sisters since I returned from Rome. And I have declined a number of other similar requests from other entities, because I am plenty busy at the parish. But for various reasons I was led to agree to this retreat finally. I do not plan on taking such commitments regularly, since we have plenty going on in the parish to occupy me. The parish is my first commitment. Mother Teresa’s sisters do such beautiful work with the poor that I hope you will be understanding and patient and generous by putting up with my being away from the parish for such a cause. Monsignor Marvin Borger, the diocesan Vicar for Clergy, and Father Fred Duschl will cover necessary Masses for me.
Given all of the above, I think we will not have a parish retreat this year… unless somebody would like to pick it up and organize it, even at this late date. [I think we can just duplicate last year’s model.] I will sollicit leadership for next year’s retreat with more advance notice. Or perhaps we can even accomplish a parish mission next year, with a Lenten speaker whom we invite. The FIAT committee brought this idea up with me in the past. Or perhaps we accomplish both!
Have a blessed week!
In cordibus Iesu et Mariae,