Reverence

A Capuchin walked into a retreat center . . . That may sound like the beginning of a joke, but for us, it was the beginning of a great weekend […]

A Capuchin walked into a retreat center . . .

That may sound like the beginning of a joke, but for us, it was the beginning of a great weekend of prayer and pondering, singing and sharing, rest and reflection, challenge and celebration.

Fr. Dan Crosby was with us to present our Franciscan Living Retreat, “Transforming the World through Reverence.” It is always good to welcome him back to the place that was his home for many years, even though our roles were reversed: he used to be the one welcoming us to this holy place, now we are the ones welcoming him.

It was also good to see so many other familiar faces who came to retreat this weekend, as well as to meet some new friends. We had 45 retreatants who came to soak up the wisdom of St. Francis.

Retreats are an opportunity to grow in faith and strengthen connections with God, self, others and creation, and this retreat was a fine example of that. Fr. Dan challenged participants to transform their world through reverence toward God, toward one another and toward the created world and all that is in it. That is no small challenge in a world ruled by greed, power, manipulation, and violence.

Several of the guests showed their reverence toward God and toward their fellow retreatants by sharing their gifts with the group. One of the guests shared his voice and led the group in several sung prayers, a capella style, including some Native American blessings. Another guest led the rosary in the chapel Saturday afternoon for those who wanted to reflect using this form of prayer.

We also had the opportunity to show our reverence toward Fr. Dan and celebrate his 65th Jubilee with him. Sixty-five years of service to God and to the people of God is amazing and worthy of recognition, with many of those years spent nurturing folks here at St. Anthony’s. One of our friends, who was unable to attend the weekend, donated the cake we served at lunch, and her daughter spoke a few words of appreciation for Fr. Dan’s ministry.

On Sunday, the group showed its reverence toward two of their fellow retreatants who were experiencing serious health issues. Fr. Dan anointed them and the group prayed over them that God would strengthen them and give them peace of mind as they faced upcoming surgeries.

As with all retreats, the challenge is for the retreatants to carry the lessons learned with them as they returned home and back into the world so in need of reverence and blessing. We pray that all present who came seeking wisdom left with strength to live the Gospel vision of St. Francis.

For the blessing of retreat time, for the opportunity to learn, pray, reflect and share gifts, appreciation and reverence for God, self, others and creation, and for the strength to carry all we shared to the world where we live, we say Deo Gratias!

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