Tag Archives: retreat

DECEMBER 15 Monday of the Third Week

NUMBERS 24:2-7, 15-17A; MATTHEW 21:23-27
Remembering & thanking

Remembering and thanking
Remember me, because of your goodness, O Lord. PSALM 25:7

During a recent retreat I asked the retreatants: what is one of the most meaningful gifts you have ever received?

One man immediately responded: “Several months ago I received a phone call from some boys (now men, of course) whom I coached on a high school basketball team in 1984. They were at a

reunion. They called to tell me how much I had meant to them, the influence I had on their lives.” With tears in his eyes, he continued,“That just might be the nicest gift I’ve ever received.”

Often, gratitude bubbles up about the people currently in our lives and those in our lives in the past. Letting them know can make all the difference in their world.

Today, the psalmist asks God to remember him. We know that God always does; that is God’s very nature. By remembering us, God saves and redeems us. As we are called to be God-like, our grateful remembering of others might also save them: from discouragement, from low self-confidence, from worry, or from pessimism.

DAILY PRACTICE: What phone call might you make? It could be to someone you see every day or to a person whom you haven’t seen in years. It’s easy to find someone via the web; don’t hesitate.

ADVENT PRAYER: Remembering God, I am aware of your support, your encouragement, your saving grace. Make me to be more like you. Help me to always be conscious of ways to remember others through gratitude and praise.

From: ADVENT 2014. Daily reflections, practices and prayers.
The Marvels and Mysteries of Advent. Janet Schaeffler, OP.
Twenty-Third Publications. www.23rdpublications.com


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Brothers Gather for Triduum Retreat

Each year the Midwest District offers a Triduum Retreat for the Brothers. It is held at the USML Conference Center in Mundelein, IL, and begins with dinner on Holy Thursday and ends with the Easter Vigil and a reception on Saturday night. This year our three postulants, Tony, Mark, and Johnathon joined us, and we were blessed with pleasant weather, so everyone could enjoy the beautiful setting. Here are some photos from our time together:

Brothers gather in the chapel for prayer

Brothers gather in the chapel for prayer

Fr. Mike Jpyce, CM, from Memphis served as our presider and presenter for the weekend

Fr. Mike Joyce, CM, from Memphis served as our presider and presenter for the weekend

The Easter Vigil procession.

The Easter Vigil procession.

On Saturday morning, Bro. Marv Becker led a remembrance of Bro. Pius Kamphefner who is the only Brother who has died since last Easter.

On Saturday morning, Bro. Marv Becker led a remembrance of Bro. Pius Kamphefner who is the only Brother who has died since last Easter.

Let the Alleluias begin!

Let the Alleluias begin!

A special THANKS to Brother Mark Snodgrass who coordinated the retreat, and to all those who helped make it so rewarding an experience, especially Cheryl in the office.

HAPPY EASTER to everyone!

 

 

 

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CONTACT RETREAT 2013

Mount Washington, Pittsburgh: Bro. Tony Baginski, Michael Phipps, Sam Olsem, Bro. Stephen, Mark Kociemba, Bro. Larry, and (front) Matt Lehman

Mount Washington, Pittsburgh: Bro. Tony Baginski, Michael Phipps, Sam Olsem, Bro. Stephen, Mark Kociemba, Bro. Larry, and (front) Matt Lehman

Our journey really began at the Westmont Community where six of us stayed overnight on Wednesday, January 2. That way, we could get an early start on Thursday morning. Mark, Matt, and Sam had driven down from the Twin Cities and Michael had flown in to Chicago from Yakima, his home. A special thanks to Brother Rob Veselsky, Director, for all the hospitality at Westmont.

Sam, Bro. Stephen, Michael, and Mark playing “500” in the van.

Sam, Bro. Stephen, Michael, and Mark playing “500” in the van.

Our destination Thursday was Pittsburgh, about an eight-hour drive. We arrived at Central Catholic right on time for dinner after a bit of rush-hour traffic. The CC Brothers were very gracious. After dinner, Brothers Tony Baginski and Bobby Schaefer gave us a tour of Pittsburgh. It was a chilly night, but the view from Mount Washington was superb. Thanks to all the Brothers and especially Director Ben Oliver for the warm welcome.

We celebrated Bro. Stephen’s birthday with the Central Catholic community in Piittsburgh

We celebrated Bro. Stephen’s birthday with the Central Catholic community in Piittsburgh

On Friday we crossed Pennsylvania and arrived at Jeremy House in Philadelphia early afternoon. The retreat, coordinated by Brother Len Rhoades began with mass in the community at 5:00pm. Malik, a DENA Contact joined us for the weekend, along with Bro. Jim Dries, DENA Vocation Director. Our time together was a combination of prayer, presentations, meals, and down time to reflect and rest. As ususal, Brothers Rich, Hugh, and Brian from Jeremy House were wonderful hosts.

Bro. James Dries presenting on Saturday morning.

Bro. James Dries presenting on Saturday morning.

Sam Olsem (Fulda, MN)  says this about the experience: “I was really impressed with how smoothly the weekend went. All the brothers were very accommodating, and I was, yet again, impressed by the amount of hospitality always found in a brothers community. It was helpful for me to be able to see the inner workings of Jeremy House especially, having visited only briefly in the past. I enjoyed getting to hear some of the brothers’ journey stories, as well as ask some questions I was able to have answered clearly. Overall, it was a great trip, and I’m glad that I came.”

Down time at Jeremy House.

Down time at Jeremy House.

Michael Phipps (Yakima, WA) adds: “The experience was great in that it reinforced my respect and zeal for the Lasallian mission. Having the opportunity to see a number of brothers I had met and interacted with in the past was an inspiring experience, as usual. The time spent reflecting on my personal vocation journey as well as listening to the vocation stories of a number of the brothers present breathed new life into my life journey in the Lasallian world.”

Brother Dave Deradoorian joined us Saturday evening to talk about his own vocation discernment  process. Bro. Dave lives at the LaSalle College HS community in Philadelphia.

Brother Dave Deradoorian joined us Saturday evening to talk about his own vocation discernment process. Bro. Dave lives at the LaSalle College HS community in Philadelphia.

Mark Kociemba, (Hopkins, MN) shares this about his experience: “Being new to the contact program, the trip allowed me to explore my call to the Christian Brothers. The opportunity to experience life in a community was worth the trip. It brought a new prospective to what life is like as a brother.”

Matt Lehman (Minneapolis): “This weekend gave me a lot to chew on as I decide whether the life of a Brother is the life for me. I am thankful for experiencing the same generous hospitality and delicious food with the Brothers on our journey that I’ve grown used to in my home community with the Brothers at DeLaSalle High School in Minneapolis.”

Matt with the Pittsburgh skyline

Matt with the Pittsburgh skyline

Brother Stephen Markham organized our road trip which totaled about 1600 miles. The road trip provided lots of time to get to know one another. That’s one of the reasons I came on this trip. It gave me an opportunity to get to know these four Contacts and see how they interact with one another and the Brothers they met along the way. The theme of journey and call came up repeatedly, so being on this actual “journey” together seemed very apropos.

Bro. Bob Schaefer pointing out the scenes of Pittsburgh.

Bro. Bob Schaefer pointing out the scenes of Pittsburgh.

A special thanks to Mark, Matt, Michael, and Sam for participating so wholeheartedly in this January journey. Let’s keep all of our young men discerning a call to become a Christian Brother in our prayers.

Live Jesus in our hearts—Forever!

-Bro. Larry Schatz

 

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Called to be Brothers. Day 4 July 23rd, 2011

Two themes were considered in the evening: fervor and fidelity. In Mary Oliver’s poem, “West Wind #2”, fervor is described as rowing toward the powerful falls. In the life of De La Salle speaks of a being led little by little imperceptively. He also confesses that if he had known the great hardship of establishing the schools, he would not have touched it with the tips of his fingers.

De La Salle speaks in two meditations of fidelity. The meditations for the Adoration of the Kings and Saint Hilarion speak of prompt fidelity to grace. We are called to choose to align our lives with God and faithfully choose God’s way. When we are called, do we respond without hesitation?


Who are the people, living and dead, who have been your icons of fervor and zeal?

Who are the people, living and dead, who have been your icons of fidelity to grace?


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Called to be Brothers. Day 3 July 22nd, 2011

Midwest District Retreat 2011
Called to be Brothers
Day 2.2

When I was at CIL 2010: Understanding and Living Association for Lasallian Mission Today, we spent a morning on icons and their interpretation. I found that the images did not evoke much in me, but that the explanation of the theology and spirituality did. I was not surprised when some of the Brothers in my discussion group indicated they didn’t get the whole icon thing. We agreed that since each of us is an individual, what speaks to one will not necessarily speak to another. Part of the power of community is that we can share and appreciate each others spiritual journeys. In so doing, we find or add to our “ports of entry” into the sacred.

Brother Tim shared a portion of De La Salle’s approach to interior prayer. Roughly: Come, Holy Spirit, take possession of my heart, and so guide my actions …so that they are the work of your hands rather than mine, …that I no longer live or act but by the Spirit of God …

He also said that the Sufis speak of viewing all things with two eyes: one on the profane (the practical day to day events) and one on the profound (the deeper spiritual meaning behind the event). The trick is the keep both eyes open. We may tend to see only the daily grind or we may attempt to shut out the daily grind when we look for spiritual meaning. For De La Salle, every encounter in the mission is potentially an encounter with God.

Brother Tim spoke of “Sabbath Time”, basing his comment on a book of the same name. Sabbath is when we leave the work behind and get some time to exercise our “eye” for the profound.

Each of us must find our ways of entering into the sacred. It might be scripture, literature, human interactions, art, trauma, the suffering of others, the news, nature, science, simplicity, complexity, silence, the party…

How do we keep both eyes open? How do we see all and do all in the Spirit of God?

What are the “ports of entry” into Trinity? Or as one Brother said, “into the greatness of God”?

What are the rituals you practice to create and live in “Sabbath time”?

What are the spaces and places where you meet God?

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Called to be Brothers. Day 2 July 21st, 2011

Midwest District Retreat 2011
Called to be Brothers

Day 2.1

This day is the most intense day of the retreat beginning with morning prayer, three sessions of input, Mass, dinner, and evening prayer.


We begin with and excerpt from an article by Richard Rohr challenging us to overcome the tendency as religious age to lose our enthusiasm for the life.  He saw it as the downside of the security of religious life, what St. Francis referred to as Brother Drone or what De La Salle referred to as a “dead member”.


Brother Tim reminded us that De La Salle’s spirituality for the Brothers of the Christian Schools [and by extension all Lasallians] is Trinitarian.  The Brothers are consecrated to the Trinity.  But, what does that mean?  For Brother Tim, art evokes or communicates many of the spiritual truths, and so he used a couple of icons to illustrate what De La Salle meant and did not mean by Trinitarian.

Some earlier representations of the Trinity are vertical.  Father, Spirit, and Son or Spirit, Father, and Son are lined up vertically evoking a sense of hierarchy or separation of heaven and earth.  On the other hand, Andrei Rublev’s icon of Holy Trinity may be enclosed within a circle.  Three similar figures sit around a table to share a meal, but with walking staffs in hand.

The Brothers [I would add all Lasallians] are a community for mission modeled after the Trinity.   We gather in community to support and nurture one another so that we are enabled to do the Lasallian Educational Mission.  But, even as we gather to be supported and nurtured, our focus is on the mission.  How often at community gatherings and dinners does our conversation turn to the mission and the specific people we encountered in the mission?  Can’t we talk about anything else?!  Sure, but why waste time on other things when what is deepest in our hearts are the people who have been entrusted to our care?  Surely every parent can understand that.

What are the spiritual practices that keep you focused on the needs of others?

How do you keep your sense of journey and quest alive and active?

How does your community practice hospitality with one another and others?  How does your community live “dynamic hospitality”?

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Called to be Brothers Retreat. Day 1 July 20th, 2011

Midwest District Retreat 2011
Called to be Brothers

We, Brothers of the Christian Schools, are participating in a two year process of reflecting on our lives.  This retreat falls in the middle of the process after three shorter gatherings of the Brothers in various geographic areas around the District.  We have read, reflected, and conversed about our lives together.


We were each called to be Brothers at some point in history and we responded to that call.  That call is not only one moment in time, but a life long process in which our focus and commitment ebb and flow.  We are in fact called again and again.  Each successive call presents us with an opportunity to deepen our understanding of and commitment to the original call which led to our vowed commitment to this particular way of life.  The “Called to be Brothers” process we are engaged in is just another reminder of who we are and who we are called to be in the fullest sense.

Our time began with the process of gathering.  We rarely have the opportunity to gather as a District and it was clear from the smiling faces, vociferous greetings, hugs, and hand shakes that being Brothers means loving one another.  We are a community that cares and supports one another.

After sharing a meal in the cafeteria, we went to the opening session for prayer and an introduction to the retreat.  Brother Tim Coldwell, FSC, led us through some of the significant influences in his life.  He began his high school career in Denver at a Jesuit High School and then moved to New Orleans and a high school run by the Brothers of the Christian Schools.  Each of the orders powerfully impacted his life and spirituality as did the cultural differences between Denver and New Orleans.  Whereas in Denver, traffic would be interrupted by a parade, in New Orleans the parade would be interrupted by traffic.

Brother Tim encouraged us to get back “enchantment” that led us to our vocation.  We were invited to meditate on the Holy Trinity and consider how it impacts our spirituality as Lasallians.  We considered the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego tried in the fiery furnace (Daniel 1-3).  They went in singing the sacred songs and were not consumed by the fire.  If our culture is the fiery furnace, how will we enter it and not be consumed by it?

Brother Tim, Provincial of the Santa Fe-New Orleans District

 

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Called to be Brothers Retreat

Dear Lasallians,

This Wednesday July 20 through July 23 more than 140 Brothers form the Midwest District will gather at the University of St. Mary of the Lake Conference Center in Mundelein, IL for a four-day retreat.

During this time of grace and prayer we will reflect on our vocation as called forth by the Blessed Trinity to build communities of Brothers where we look forward with joy to coming together for prayer, to be the human face of God, to be companions for others along the pathway of their own spirituality, to collaborate in the building of more communities of faith, and to be islands of hope and creativity.

Please keep us in your prayers. Live Jesus in our hearts—forever!

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Lasallian Volunteers Discernment Retreats 2011


For the past three weekends, Lasallian Volunteers gathered in various parts of the country for a discernment retreat.

The retreat included four staff members, Lasallian Volunteer staff,

and several Lasallian Volunteer alum.

For more photos of the Midwest and West Coast retreats, please go to:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/delasallechristianbrothers

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Midwest Lasallian Volunteers gather near St. Louis

Lasallian Volunteers serving in the Midwest District gathered at Toddhall Retreat Center in Columbia, Illinois the weekend of March 4-6 for the third annual discernment retreat. 20 volunteers from the Midwest were joined by one serving in New Orleans, plus four retreat staff and two members of the Lasallian Volunteer staff, along with Joe Kilmade, LV alum. In the photo, participants are showing off their new “Live Jesus in Our Hearts—Forever!” wristbands, a gift from Bro. George Van Grieken, Regional Vocation Director.

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