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Ars priests retreat

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 Contents - Feb 2006AD2000 February 2006 - Buy a copy now
Editorial: Catholic schools: how much accountability? - Michael Gilchrist
Cardinal Arinze on the Liturgy: the Mass is not entertainment - Cardinal Francis Arinze
News: The Church Around the World
Catechesis: Latest research on Catholic school leavers - Michael Gilchrist
Education: Catholic Church and her schools face a 'wake-up call' - Bishop Geoffrey Jarrett
Liturgical Music: The spiritual impact of Msgr. Richard Schuler's priestly leadership and example - Fr John T. Zuhlsdorf
Priestly vocations: the key role of bishops - John Mallon
New Age paganism's creeping influence within the Church - Wanda Skowronska
Blessed Charles de Foucauld: seeking nothing but God's will - Dr Frank Mobbs
The Church of England: beyond satire? - Rev Peter Mullen
Letters: Clerical Celibacy (letter) - Fr Adrian Head
Letters: All Saints Day (letter) - M & L Morrissey
Letters: Ars priests retreat - Fr Robert Markey
Letters: Wrong chord? (letter) - John Daly
Prayer: The Abandonment Prayer of Charles de Foucauld
Letters: Beautiful music (letter) - Josephine Landsberg
Letters: Cardinal von Galen (letter) - Denise M. Cameron
Letters: Survival of the fittest (letter) - Arthur Negus
Letters: Evolutionism - Fr G.H. Duggan SM
Letters: Intelligent design (letter) - Paul MacLeod
Letters: Homilies (letter) - Robert Prinzen-Wood
Letters: Catholic magazines needed in India - Fr A. Joseph
Letters: EWTN tapes available - Harry and Antoinette Zwaans
Books: Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church - Peter Westmore (reviewer)
Books: The Pope Benedict Code, by Joanna Bogle - Michael Gilchrist (reviewer)
Books: For the Life of the World:St Maximilian and the Eucharist, by Fr Jerzy Domanski - Michael Gilchrist (reviewer)
Books: CATHOLIC FAMILY CATECHISM: Disciples' Edition and Apostles' Edition, Fr Tierney - Michael Gilchrist (reviewer)
Events: Virtus - Retreat for Young Men
Events: Lecture on the Compendium of the Catechism - Msgr Peter Elliott
Books: Stimulating reading from AD Books
Reflection: The hidden treasure of the Holy Mass - St Leonard of Port Maurice

It was with great interest that I read Fr John Cihak's article, "St John Vianney's blueprint for the priesthood back in favour" (December-January AD2000).

Last September I took part in the International Retreat for Priests at Ars. It was held over six days in the Underground Basilica in Ars, a few hundred metres from St John Vianney's parish church where he preached his great sermons, catechised the youth, heard confessions up to 16 hours a day, strove to celebrate the Liturgy in its full beauty, and lived a life of penance.

This retreat was the best that I have taken part in during the 52 years of my priesthood. It was organised by Catholic Charismatic Renewal together with the Beatitudes Community France (a Carmelite Third Order community of priests, nuns and lay people). Their priests were conducting the retreat, so the organising of it was in the hands of their sisters and lay people.

971 priests from 72 countries took part, with 20 bishops and three cardinals. The official languages were English, French, German, Italian and Spanish, with Latin for the liturgies. The Missa de Angelis was used for the Masses, Benedictions and hymns to the Holy Spirit, with Plain Chant used for the Divine Office. Africans are born singers and there must have been well over a hundred African priests present, so the singing was powerful. Even I could join in with it.

Each day there was teaching by Sr Briege McKenna OSC and Fr Kevin Scallon CM who have been preaching retreats for priests internationally for the past 20 years.

The themes for the six days of the retreat included: "The Spirituality of the Cure d'Ars"; "Repentance and Reconciliation"; "The Eucharist: Jesus Christ the High Priest" and "Consecration to Mary, Mother of the Priesthood".

Bannockburn, Vic

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Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 19 No 1 (February 2006), p. 14

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