Each year, canon law says that a priest should go on a retreat for five days. It sounds a wonderful luxury, and I have to say that each year I have to justify it to myself. There is always more than enough to do in the parish and especially now as I pack to go to Chavagnes and tie up loose ends.
But when I go and sink into the silence of the retreat, I realise just how much I need it. I remember that people rely on the priest to pray for them and to offer prayers on their behalf, and to be frank, we need time to go and pray ourselves and to ask God for the help we need in our duty.
It’s not enough just to go away however. I’ve tried that in the past… just getting away for some quiet and peace. And although that is important, it is not enough. You need a good retreat giver, a good priest to lead you, to guide you and challenge you to renew your spirit.
My retreat this year was led by Fr de Malleray of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter (FSSP) which you can read about here. And the retreat conferences were on the prayers of the Traditional Mass.
It really was quite excellent.
I just got back tonight, so I’ll write about it later.