WAVERLY (SNR) - Bishop James Conley and Father Gary Coulter, director of Our Lady of Good Counsel Retreat House near Waverly, will lead an Advent retreat Dec. 15-17.
The retreat is open to men and women of all ages.
Father Coulter noted how last year many missed this retreat due to an ice storm, so Bishop Conley generously agreed to repeat the topic again this Advent.
He said the point of the Advent retreat can be found in 2 Peter 1:19, “you will do well to pay attention to the prophetic message, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.”
“Advent is a time to prepare,” Father Coulter pointed out. “The season of longing and waiting heightens our expectation, and the retreat will be a time to focus on the Christmas message. We have heard the stories many times, but do we recognize them as a chance to encounter Jesus face-to-face?”
Bishop Conley agreed.
“Every time we go on a retreat, it is always a wonderful grace, an opportunity to reconnect with the Lord and meditate on the central mysteries of our faith,” he said. “It is a gift to take time out of our busy schedules and to unplug. The Advent retreat will be a great topic to prepare for Christmas and reflect on the beautiful mystery of the coming of Jesus.”
As two great books for Advent reading, and as one source for the retreat, Bishop Conley recommended “Jesus of Nazareth: the Infancy Narratives,” by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. Father Coulter recommended “Joy to the World: How Christ’s Coming Changed Everything (and Still Does)” by Dr. Scott Hahn.
Retreatants will be invited to read and meditate on the Gospel narratives of Jesus’ birth from Matthew and Luke, as well as the characters in the story, such as John the Baptist, Joseph, Mary, the shepherds and wise men.
Father Coulter said Our Lady of Good Counsel Retreat House provides a place of refuge and solitude, a place of renewal and conversion, a place to converse with God Who is truly present. The retreat center includes 50 single rooms, each with a private bath. Each retreat includes times for Mass, Eucharistic adoration, and confession. Retreats typically begin with a rosary and Mass at 8 p.m. on Friday, and end with Mass and noon lunch on Sunday.