Online Retreat

Welcome to the Online Retreat for Everyday Life.  I pray this will be a fruitful journey in faith for all of us.

Please visit the Online Retreat home page for information about making this retreat.

You can begin the retreat at any time. Many of us began it during the third week of September (15-21)*, but you can start anytime.  Your primary guide will be pages on the Creighton University Online Retreat site.  I will also have some brief comments on preparing for each week’s theme, which you will see in the drop-down menu above.  I will also be posting reflections as I make this retreat on the home page of this blog.  You are invited to make your own comments as well.

If you are beginning the retreat now, visit the first week page on this site for my own comments to begin the week, and go to the first week of the Online Retreat website. The theme is “Let’s Begin at the Beginning: Our Life Story – The Memories That Have Shaped Us.”  As I make each week of the retreat,  you’ll find my own ongoing reflections on the home page of this blog. You can also add your own comments and reflections to share with your brothers and sisters who are making this retreat virtually with you.

May God guide us all as we seek to open ourselves to the movement of His Spirit.

* Note: this week, September 15-21, is an especially good time to begin the retreat because the themes will be pretty much in sync with the major seasons of the Church year.  We will be reliving the mysteries of Christ’s coming during Advent and Christmas, and following Christ in his passion, death and resurrection during Lent and Easter.  See the calendar of weeks here. However, it is not necessary to follow the Church calendar, nor even to by in sync with one another as we make this retreat.  We can all benefit at anytime from one another’s sharing.


3 thoughts on “Online Retreat”

  1. Thank you Fr. Tom ! Thank you for doing this retreat too!

    My earliest true images of childhood seem to rest in polar opposites, the great moments or the traumatic incidents. Everything in between seems to be either the the silly interpretive stories my Dad told about my earliest days, or my brothers’ memories of times that I don’t recall in the same way. I was born three months premature, and baptized immediately, as I wasn’t supposed to live. Mom had gone into early labor while cleaning up after my older brother who had decided to write on the wall of their room of the Penn-Sheraton Hotel in Pittsburgh, where they were guests of the Manager (who became my Godfather who three decades later was ordained by JPII). Mom was an elegant Parisian, impeccably dressed and truly mortified at my brother’s mode of expression. I was baptized in the hospital at birth, weighing just under 2 pounds (that is not a typo). I could fit into the palm of my Dad’s hand. I had all outward physical details, fingernails, eyebrows, eyelashes, and a full head of red hair which was shaved constantly at the temples to monitor jaundice, hence nicknames and incubator stories for much of my early childhood. But God had to have been there on my birthday as my parents and older brother were traveling through Pittsburgh, the only major northeastern city that had a neo-natal intensive care unit back then. What if it wasn’t because my brother wrote on the wall? For 18 days every year my older brother and I are the same age. I can still see the little blackboard with the white chalked French style numbers on it that Mom kept for years in a clear plastic wrap… listing my weight benchmarks. Despite medical assistance, I know your touch kept me alive most Mom. God’s touch.

    California sunshine, grass, blue sky, playing with my older brother, we are now running, he is out in front, I’m not even five, I’m running as fast as I can looking past his back at the front door, reaching the pink pavement of our driveway before the doberman caught up to me and pushed me down, knees, palms and forehead smacking the concrete, brother screaming in front of me, Mom coming out of the front door with a broom in hand swinging. Last thought before all going dark…can that loose dog be possessed?

    New Jersey apartment, dressed in new navy plaid Madonna School uniform, I’m coming down the stairs into my room, the mirror in front of my desk is all decorated with little ballerinas, and in my Mom’s handwriting, “You’ve been accepted” to the New York City Ballet’s School of American Ballet. Wouldn’t it be nice if all of our morning and daytime and evening mirrors were decorated with love and care and the words penned, “You’ve been accepted” BY GOD ! Let yourself be accepted BY YOU ! Fall freely into HIS acceptance, HIS love.

    And give up all hope of a “better” past.

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