‘Is my faith and trust in God growing?’ Feb. 3-5
WAVERLY (SNR) - The Franciscan Friars of the Renewal (CFRs) are sending the general vicar of their community, Father Anthony Baetzold, CFR to lead the weekend retreat, “Is my faith and trust in God growing?” at Our Lady of Good Counsel Retreat House in Waverly, Feb. 3-5.
The Franciscan Friars of the Renewal began in the South Bronx of New York in 1987 with only eight friars; today they number more than 120, working to serve the Church and the poor through a life of prayer and contemplation, the study of Sacred Scripture, fidelity to the Church and the Sacraments, and generous service.
Father Anthony, CFR, joined the community in 1996 and was ordained in 2005. He has been involved in formation, directed a homeless residence and shelter, and worked in Hispanic ministry. Brother Angelus Montgomery, CFR - a native of Lincoln - will also assist at the retreat.
For many years, the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal having been giving retreats at the Waverly Retreat House, beginning with Father Benedict Groeschel and Father Andrew Apostoli, CFR. Unfortunately Father Apostoli’s age prevents him from attending the Feb. 3-5 weekend as previously scheduled.
To examine the theme of faith and trust, Father Anthony will examine the life and example of the Prophet Elijah in 1 Kings, verse 17 and following. So a Bible will be key for the retreatants, and, he said, hopefully they can read up on him before they get there.
Edith Stein (St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross) speaks about the prophet Elijah: “Our Holy Father Elijah succinctly says what is most important in the 1st words of his that the scriptures give us. He says to King Ahab who worshiped idols, ‘As the Lord the God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, there shall be neither dew nor rain these years, except by my word.’ To stand before the face of the living God—this is our vocation.
“He stood before God’s face because this was the eternal treasure for whose sake he gave up all earthly goods,” she continues. “He had no house; he lived wherever the Lord directed him from moment to moment: in loneliness beside the brook of Carith, in the little house of the poor widow of Zeraphath of Sidon, or in the caves of Mt Carmel. His clothing was an animal hide like that of that other great penitent and prophet, the Baptist. The hide of a dead animal reminds us that the human body is also subject to death. Elijah is not concerned about his daily bread. He lives trusting in the providence of the Heavenly Father. And he is marvelously sustained. A raven brings him his daily food while he is in solitude. He is for us an example of the gospel poverty that we have vowed, an authentic prototype of the savior. Elijah stands before God’s face because all of his love belongs to the Lord.”
Other upcoming retreats include “Prayer and Battle - Man-to-Man” Feb. 24-26 for men with Father Sean Kilcawley, and “Discipleship according to St. John’s Gospel” March 3-5 for men and women with Msgr. Joseph Nemec.