Holy Land Pilgrimage

A Time for Retreat

February 10, 2019

We have been in the Holy Land, following in Jesus, Mary and his Apostles’ footsteps, for nearly four weeks now, marking the half-way point in our blessed time here — and what a time it has been! From the Churches of the Annunciation and Visitation, to the jaw-dropping ruins and marvels of old. From those cherished infant moments in Bethlehem at the Nativity to the shores of the Sea of Galilee, where Jesus called his Apostles by name saying, “Follow me and I will make you become fishers of men” (Mark 1:17). Yet, as was the case for Jesus before beginning his preaching mission here in Galilee, he sought silence and solitude. Mark continues, “And in the morning, a great while before day, he rose and went out to a lonely place, and there he prayed” (Mk. 1:35).

As men preparing for Holy Ordination to the diaconate, we too are required to retreat from the world for a time, seeking silence and solitude with our Father in Heaven so as to gain strength for the mission, a mission quite similar to Jesus’ own here in Galilee some 2,000 years ago.

Beginning this Sunday, my fellow seminarians and I will be on a week-long guided retreat to prepare for ordination. Be assured of our prayers for all of you as we walk in our Lord’s footsteps — to where Peter made his three-fold confession, to his own house, the site of the multiplication of the loaves and fish, and even to the Mount of Beatitudes. And, of course, please pray for us, that we may soon be deacons of the Holy Roman Church, ready to serve with love and joy.

We have a series of posts scheduled to be published while we are on retreat this week, so continue to tune in and we’ll pick back up again next week!

Jack Reichardt

Diocese of Rockford

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