Reflections on August 2023 Retreat

Blessings on the Feast of the Transfiguration!

I start my annual retreat on Sunday August 6th, ending Friday August 11th. Every year the Church asks all priests to make at least a 5 day retreat, with time of prayer, spiritual talk, and reflection. In the past years of priestly ministry, I have found this annual priestly retreat to be an invaluable source of spiritual nourishment that is so much more than a trip or a break, but a time of encounter and deepening friendship with the Lord Jesus, often in silence. Every other year, the Diocese of Fargo requires us to go on a retreat that they sponsor, and I have enjoyed many past Diocesan retreats in November at Maryvale retreat center. I have also done a number of Ignatian eight day silent retreats at Broom Tree Retreat Center in the Diocese of Sioux Falls. One year I had the opportunity to be on a 30 day silent retreat following the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius held at Creighton University and it was life changing.

This year, I am going on retreat in August, so I don’t have to be gone in November on the Diocesan retreat at Maryvale. One of my seminary classmates, Fr Jason Asselin, Pastor at St. Boniface in Wahalla, and I are going on retreat with Dr. Bob Schuchts and the John Paul II Healing Center at Marywood Center in St. Johns, FL with 45 other priests. Dr. Bob Schuchts has become a very prolific author and popular retreat director nationwide. His priest retreats regularly sell out the same day registration is opened, and Fr. Asselin and I were on a waiting list when he scheduled an additional retreat for priests in 2023, so we are taking advantage of the opportunity to attend.

Dr. Schuchts work focuses on spiritual healing, which is a key part of our lifelong conversion for sure. His major books are Be Healed, Be Transformed, and Be Restored, among many other solid spiritual writings. His bi-monthly podcast, Restore the Glory, is excellent. Dr. Schuchts parish retreats are also popular nationwide, and last November hosted a very large healing retreat in Eagan, MN. I hope that he may accept an invitation to lead a parish retreat here at Sts. Anne and Joachim someday.

I will lift up our parish and parishioners when I am on retreat this week. Please keep me and the other priests on this retreat in prayer as well. Blessings on the week!