A Note From Fr. LeRoy
Some years ago I had a good friend and fishing buddy who was Lutheran. While on the boat, our conversation would eventually end up on faith. One day my Lutheran friend asked (with tongue in cheek): "Why do Catholics always talk about going on retreat? Aren't we supposed to be going forward?" We both had a good laugh, yet he makes a good point!
This past week our whole ACC "Together As One" Parish Staff from St. Peter, St. Joseph, St. Michael and St. Paul went on a one-day Staff Retreat at the Guest House located in St. John's University. We had a wonderful speaker and good friend of mine, Fr. Cyril Gorman O.S.B., who spoke to us on two main topics: "Seeking God in the Ordinary" and "Prayer and Work: a Benedictine Spirituality." Both these topics pertained very much to our ministry. We all appreciated the insight and inspiration we received on how we can better serve God's people as we had time to pray, to talk, to listen, to have lunch together, to ask questions, and a time to reflect. We concluded with an introduction to the program entitled: "Called and Gifted." Of course, at the end of the day, some of us went to Bad Habit Brewery for a glass of beer. Got to do that too! This said, it's been a long time since we've had a Staff Retreat and the first time our whole ACC Parish Staffs got together for something like this. In the end, we all received something to be renewed in Christ.
Back to my friend's question about retreats: There are times in all our lives when a person needs to "step back in order to better move forward." A spiritual retreat is not about going backwards, but about renewing our vision and having a clearer insight into who we are, what we are doing, and how we can better live our relationship with God and others. It is a time of pause and reflection so we can go back to jobs with new enthusiasm and inspiration. (I hope this answers my old friend's question) For these reasons (if you have never done so) I encourage everyone to consider some kind of retreat experience, which is not the same as a vacation but a means to better understand our "vocation" in God. There are many opportunities if you check them out.
One final note: This weekend we celebrate "World Mission Sunday." It's a reminder that our Catholic Christian Faith is called to step out into our world to help Jesus proclaim the Good News of feeding the poor, comforting the afflicted, and bringing hope and salvation to all. We are all called in some way to do that! Speaking of reaching out, this weekend, Bishop Kettler has asked all parishes of the St. Cloud Diocese to take up a Second Collection for Hurricane Relief for the Southwest corner of the United States due to the recent floods and damaging hurricanes. I encourage everyone to consider helping our neighbor and to be generous. If you did not drop your contribution into the collection basket this weekend, feel free to write a check to your local Parish c/o "Bishop's Emergency Disaster Fund." We will see that it gets to the Chancery Office. Your help will be much appreciated. Thank you!
Fr. LeRoy Scheierl