WAVERLY (SNR) – A Year of Faith retreat for men and women of all ages will be given by Father Thomas Dunavan Oct. 18-20 on the topic "Year of Faith – Life of Faith."
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 six years, and said he finds that every year there are newly canonized saints given to us by the Church who are upheld as models for us. He finds it helpful to get to know the saints, whose inspiring lives are examples of how to live "The Life of Faith," and likes to share that on his retreats.
"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."
He recommends that spouses encourage one another to make retreats, for example, by offering to care for their kids. Knowing that a retreat helps a person to be grounded and live the faith better, spouses should know that God will bless those and the families when one or both make a retreat, individually or together.
"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]."
Now in its 50th anniversary year, Our Lady of Good Counsel Retreat House offers a peaceful atmosphere of prayer and recollection. The facility includes 50 single rooms, each with a private bath. Each retreat includes meditations by the retreat master, and opportunities for silence, prayer, Eucharistic Adoration and the Sacraments. Retreats typically begin with Mass at 8:15 p.m. on Friday, and end with Mass on Sunday, followed by lunch.
Upcoming retreats include "Open the Door of Faith" with Father David Oldham Oct. 25-27, for men and women, especially catechists; and Bishop James Conley will give a "Day of Reflection" for men Saturday, Nov. 2 entitled, "Concluding the Year of Faith."
Father Thomas Dunavan to present Year of Faith retreat Oct. 18-20