What better time for a Retreat than the beginning of Lent? And who better than Fr. Tom Spier, O.F.M. (Franciscan) could present them with the inspiration of St. Francis in their Lenten journey? For the three days of Retreat, he made St. Francis come alive for his captive listeners. A summary of his talks was available for the residents which they could keep for reflection and prayer. His words made St. Francis come alive not as a plastic saint, but a human one, forever fighting his shadow side which obstructed God’s love. The residents were invited to see their own shadow side and even make a list of these tendencies to pride and selfishness. Then having seen what they are, in order to go forward, they should NAME THEM, CLAIM THEM AND TAME THEM. This is what St. Francis did and in the end the love of God was so intense within him that it burst forth into wounds in his hands known as the stigmata Father stressed that God’s love is a truly encompassing love which never ceases. He loves us just as we are but wants us to become more and more aware of His love so that we will respond to it like Francis did.
Our residents came to Mass and the afternoon conference without any encouragement. Extra time had to be scheduled for the Sacrament of Reconciliation and on the last day of the Retreat the residents received the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick. This Retreat has been a grace and a blessing for our Home and a time which our residents will remember with gratitude.