Diocesan News

‘Saints Yesterday and Today’

Fr. Thomas Dunavan to present retreat for men, women Oct. 31 - Nov. 2

WAVERLY (SNR) — Although All Saints Day is not an obligatory holy day this year, one can still celebrate All Saints by joining a retreat with Father Thomas Dunavan Oct. 31-Nov. 2 on the topic: Saints Yesterday and Today.

Father Dunavan is pastor of St. Andrew Church in Tecumseh and St. Mary Church in St. Mary, and is an administrator and teacher at St. Andrew School in Tecumseh. He is also associate director of Hispanic ministry in the Diocese of Lincoln, and a chaplain at the Tecumseh State Correctional Institution.

Father Dunavan has given retreats for more than seven years, and said he finds that every year there are newly canonized saints, which are upheld as models for all. Since November 2014 also begins a special Year for Consecrated Life called for by Pope Francis, Father Dunavan said he hopes to also integrate some saints who were consecrated religious, and see the connection of how their lives have meaning for all members of the Church, pointing all toward the kingdom of heaven.

“The lives of the saints are like a buried treasure,” he said. “We need to bring it to the surface, and allow their relevance to touch our lives. They’re here to help us on our journey, to be inspired by them, and to assist us.”

Father Dunavan said prayer refreshes the soul, and he encouraged everyone to take a weekend to find that refreshment which comes from time in prayer.

“We miss the forest for the trees,” he said. “Sometimes we get so focused on our day-to-day tasks and survival, we need to step back and encounter the beauty of the forest: see who is walking with us—our spouse, family, Church—and who has made this journey ahead of us: the saints.”

Open to men and women of all ages, Father Dunavan noted the advantage the retreat weekend will have of including both All Saints Day and All Souls Day, and will include time in the retreat schedule to visit the Marian Sisters’ cemetery and pray for All Souls on that day.

Our Lady of Good Counsel Retreat House offers a peaceful atmosphere of prayer and recollection, situated on a spacious acreage near Waverly. The facility includes 50 single rooms, each with a private bath. Each retreat includes meditations by the retreat master, and opportunities for silence, prayer, adoration and the Sacraments. The suggested donation for a retreat is $170.

Other upcoming retreats include: a men’s day of reflection with Bishop James Conley Oct. 25; a men’s retreat weekend with Regnum Christi, the Kingdom of Christ Nov. 7-9.  Register online and see the full schedule of retreats at www.goodcounselretreat.com.

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