WAVERLY (SNR) – Bishop James Conley, Bishop of the Diocese of Lincoln, and Father Gary Coulter, director of Our Lady of Good Counsel Retreat House will lead a Christmas retreat Dec. 14-16.
Bishop Conley invites men and women of all ages to attend.
“This retreat will be a graced opportunity to reconnect with the Lord and meditate on the central mysteries of our faith,” he said. “It is a gift of taking time out of our busy schedules, to unplug, prepare for Christmas, and reflect on the beautiful mystery of the coming of Jesus.”
Entitled, “The Mysteries of Christmas,” the retreat theme ties in with the Rosary Crusade that Bishop Conley has invited the diocese to participate in this year, encouraging families to take time in daily prayer and the rosary.
“The rosary is a powerful weapon,” Bishop Conley said. “Praying the rosary allows us to meditate on the life of Jesus as we reflect upon the mysteries of the rosary.”
“Several of the Joyful Mysteries of the rosary are typically associated with Christmas, such as the Annunciation, Nativity, and Presentation in the Temple,” Father Coulter noted.
“But what not everyone knows is that Epiphany is traditionally associated not only with the wise men but also two other mysteries: the Baptism of Jesus and the Miracle at the Wedding in Cana are also ‘Epiphanies’ that make Jesus known.”
Father Coulter points out, “Although Mary plays a key role in the Christmas story, and occupies a central focus in the Rosary, she always leads us to know and love her son, Jesus. As Mary’s last recorded words in the gospels say, ‘Do whatever he tells you.’ (John 2:5)”
As two great books for Christmas reading, and as sources for the retreat, Bishop Conley recommends “Jesus of Nazareth: the Infancy Narratives” by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. Father Coulter recommends “Joy to the World: How Christ’s Coming Changed Everything (and Still Does)” by Dr. Scott Hahn.
Our Lady of Good Counsel Retreat House near Waverly provides a place of refuge and solitude, a place of renewal and conversion, a place to converse with God Who is truly present. Weekend retreats begin 8 p.m. Friday with a Rosary and Mass, and end at noon Sunday with Mass and lunch, for a suggested donation of $170.