Crossed The Tiber

An Evangelical Converts to Catholicism

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Location: Pennsylvania, United States

I was born into the Catholic faith. At 14, I was "born again" and found Jesus personally but lost His Church. After thirty years as an evangelical protestant, I have come full circle to find that He has been there all the time, in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. I wish others to find the beauty and truth of the Catholic faith as I have found.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Catholics Love Retreats

Since I have been Catholic, I have heard about Catholic retreats. "Have you been on a retreat?" I would often hear. Many folks attribute their conversion to eeperiences they had at retreat weekends. Well, I just got back from a men's retreat sponsored by the Allentown Diocese this weekend. This was my first Catholic retreat. (I have played music for two of these retreats but was never a participant) It was held at an old seminary (owned by the archdiocese of Philadelphia) that is now used just for retreats. It is locate on 400 acres surrounded by breathtaking views and extreme quiet. Sadly it is going up for sale and this was one of the last retreats, unless a wealthy Catholic buys it. (Hey Tom Monaghan (founder/owner of Domino's Pizza, we could use a few Benjamins over here!)

We began the day with praying the liturgy of the hours, then Mass daily, and ending the evenings with Eucharistic adoration . On Saturday, the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession) was available to all the men and I had a great time getting some spiritual direction as well as absolution. There's nothing like hearing those precious words and knowing that you are once again made clean by the blood of the Lamb.
Father Scott gave 4 excellent sessions focusing on fatherhood, spiritual warfare and how Catholic men can become better fathers and help bring their family to heaven with them. His enthusiasm was infectious and his love for Jesus was a delight to see and share.
The highlight was Saturday evening's Eucharistic adoration that went for over 2 hours! Seeing many on their knees with their hands raised to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament was like a flashback to my old days in non-Catholic charismatic meetings. Now of course, Jesus was physically before us and that makes all the difference in the world for me.
Many needs were met as men were prayed for before the blessed sacrament. After adoration, Jesus was brought to a small chapel on the second floor with a candlelit procession where we could sign up for half-hour sessions of personal adoration through the night. (It is not appropriate to display the Blessed Sacrament unattended. cf:Could you not wait one hour with me?)

The weekend ended with a decision to have a mini-retreat in the fall with the same format since all us had such a positive experience. Yeah, Catholics and their retreats, a good thing!

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