Tuesday, October 28, 2008


I preached a retreat this past weekend at Casa Maria retreat house, run by the Sister Servants of the Eternal Word.  They are located a mile from EWTN studios in Irondale, AL.  It is a marvelous place and the sisters are wonderful, orthodox, prayerful and joyful.  It is no accident that you find a thriving community of women religious, with young, vibrant and increasing vocations, wearing a complete habit, and exuding joyful smiles every time you meet them.  Other communities are dying off, their numbers decreasing, no new or younger vocations, no religious garb and no joyful faces. 

If any layperson is looking for an excellent place to make their annual retreat, I HIGHLY recommend Casa Maria.

If you are a priest, there are two superb alternatives.  One is the new clergy retreat house in Hanceville, AL.  Adjacent to the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament, the Knights of the Holy Eucharist run the place and it is FREE OF CHARGE.  A brother will pick you up at the Birmingham airport and drive you to Hanceville.  Meals are provided as well at no cost.

Another spectacular choice is Arnold Hall, run by the Personal Prelature of Opus Dei.

   It is located in Pembroke, MA, just south of Boston.  There are other Opus Dei retreat houses located at Schulenburg, TX (Feathercock Conference Ctr.);  Valparaiso, IN (Shellbourne Conference Center); and in Novato, CA (Trumball Manor)

Canon Law requires priests to make one five day reteat each year but the lay faithful are highly encouraged to Pray DAILY, attend Mass WEEKLY, go to Confession REGULARLY (optimally, once a month) and try to make an ANNUAL retreat (one weekend or one week)

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