Who: Lay apostles and those interested in taking advantage of the adult faith formation DFOT is developing to teach at the Abbey on a regular basis. Since the retreat will have a strong emphasis on the human formation necessary to live out our lay vocations, married couples are highly encouraged to attend together, if possible, in order to maximize the return on the investment in their marriage this weekend.
What: A private adult faith formation weekend retreat given by Anne, Fr. Darragh and Margaret McGahon, MS, MIAHIP. The retreat will have a special focus on overcoming the mind pollution (noise, distraction, psychological, mental/emotional baggage, etc.) which stunt growth in our vocations and prayer lives. The retreat will cover content from the curriculum the team is developing for adult faith formation events that will be offered on a regular basis at the future headquarters of Direction for Our Times at Holy Trinity Abbey in Ireland when it becomes the official home of the Lay Apostolate of Jesus Christ the Returning King.
When: November 15th & 16th. Starts 9 AM Saturday Morning and ends 6 PM Sunday afternoon.
Where: The Beautiful and Historic Wheatland Manor (www.wheatlandfarm.org) near Leesburg, VA home of the Faith and Family Foundation and hosted by its founders Mark & Muriel Forrest (www.markforrest.com). A block of rooms is being reserved at a discount rate under the Faith and Family Foundation at the Comfort Suites in Leesburg ($105 w/breakfast) or the Crowne Plaza Dulles Airport ($82 no breakfast $10 extra per person breakfast rate).
“In this time, where most of us suffer from some level of mind pollution, meaning, unruly and impulsive thoughts, deeds and negative patterns, we must make a decision and commitment to becoming thoughtful men and women of God. We are going to have to work hard to become thoughtful men and women of God. And then we will have to use discipline to remain thoughtful men and women of God. At the beginning of this process, we will likely have to accept that some of the things we are using to entertain ourselves are inconsistent with who we say we are trying to become. Saints.” –Anne, First Thursday Talk, Sept 2013
Saint John Paul II outlined in his Apostolic Exhortation, I will Give You Shepherds (Pastores Dabo Vobis), four essential areas of a seminarian’s preparation for the priestly vocation. These four pillars are human, spiritual, intellectual and pastoral. Additionally, this document states that:
Indeed, “the more the lay apostolate develops, the more strongly is perceived the need to have well –formed holy priests. Thus the very life of the People of God manifests the teaching of the Second Vatican Council concerning the relationship between the common priesthood and the ministerial or hierarchical priesthood…The more the laity’s own sense of vocation is deepened, the more what is proper to the priest stands out.”
So, we the laity should be well formed for our vocations in the same areas in order to be effective apostles. When we hear about formation, it is easy to first think in terms of spiritual formation. However, grace builds on nature so it stands to reason that the first of the four pillars is in the area of human development. Many grow up wounded in different ways which produce negative views, beliefs, or dysfunctional behaviors such as numbing ourselves or even addictions. Unfortunately, these thoughts and actions are reinforced through repeated wounding, stressful situations or relationships.
Given the world we live in, it is understandable that we often seek relief in unhealthy ways. Therefore, the purpose of the retreat will be to learn to view ourselves positively and accurately as both spiritual and human beings with choices. We can do this through study of relationship with self, others and God.
This balancing of the human with the spiritual is a direct contrast to the heresy of Jansenism, which can still be seen in the presentation of our faith by some in dualistic thinking, i.e. a person is good if they fit this formula and the only other choice is bad. The body, generally, must be battled against and leads one into sin. Any deviation from ‘their’ formula of the moment is deemed to indicate a bad person. Black and white thinking is pharisaic and we must move people away from it again and again, representing our faith for people in contemporary society.
As lay apostles, we need to learn holy meditation and contemplative prayer. To do that we are going to have to cleanse the mind. It is critical because if our minds are hijacked, we won’t be free enough to throw off the growing mind control in our generation. Jesus has a need for direct, vertical contact with each follower during these distracting and confusing times.
At the end, we will have an educational and healing agent, which, when combined with our spirituality, (contemplative prayer/compassionate listening), and Scripture/Tradition, should give us a whole new understanding of living the Trinitarian life. This will help us to become Thoughtful Men and Women of God serving in the direct vertical relationship Jesus needs in order to return to the world through each one of us.
“It is very important for each one of us, my friends, that we learn to pray like this. I would even go so far as to say that this contemplative prayer practice is the beginning of the New Time, the Age of Obedience.” — Anne, First Thursday Talk, Sept 2013
Register online at the DFOT Website by clicking here. Investment in your vocation is $500 per couple ($250 single) and includes retreat fees, lunch and dinner on Saturday and Sunday. Sunday will close with mass and an outdoor BBQ late Sunday Afternoon. The whole family is welcome to attend mass and the BBQ if anyone wishes to bring their kids. However, babysitting will not be provided during any of the talks on Sunday prior to mass and the closing BBQ. As always, since some families on a budget may not be able to afford the cost, we ask anyone willing to sponsor a retreat or two registration fee. You can do this by selecting that option when you register online.
You may register using the form below (payment screen will follow):