Annual Priests Retreat
Posted in General on June 22, 2013
Priest retreat

Three days after the 10th anniversary of the solemn dedication on May 31 at St. Mary's Oratory in Wausau, from June 3-7, the Institute priests serving in the American Provence met at St. Francis de Sales Oratory in St. Louis for their annual retreat. For the third year, Monsignor Gilles Wach, Prior General of the Institute, came from Gricigliano to preach to the assembled priests during this time of recollection. This year there were a total of 16 priests attending the American retreat, among whom we had the joy of having two French priests from Our International Seminary in Gricigliano, Canon Paul-Antoine Lefèvre, Vice Rector and Prefect of Studies and Canon Louis Valadier, ordained by His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke last year.

Similar retreats were preached by Monsignor Wach to the priests of the Institute in Germany and in France. In all cases, the canons had the opportunity to pray the Divine Office together and share fraternal meals as a community. These retreats have been indispensable for renewing the interior lives of the priests, as well as for the fraternal unity of the Institute. With "Grand Silence" during the retreat, the Canon's hearts and minds were more easily given to prayer and recollection.

In this secular world, Monsignor Wach insisted once again the importance of practicing the priestly virtues, like interior recollection, confidence in God's Providence, detachment from worldly things, forgiveness, humility, obedience, etc. His teaching was ever Christocentric, putting an emphasis on the Love of God and the Cross, following the inspiration of St. Francis de Sales' spirituality.

For the community of faithful in St. Louis, this is the third time this Institute apostolate served as the setting for the annual retreat. The generous Midwestern hospitality proved its fidelity wonderfully again this year. Many individuals and families labored to prepare the chapel, the convent rooms, and the garden in order to accommodate the visiting clergy.

On Thursday evening, Monsignor Wach was the celebrant of a Solemn High Mass of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Supreme and Eternal Priest. All the faithful had the opportunity to greet Monsignor Wach and the visiting priests in a festive reception in the Oratory Hall after Mass. In his address of the faithful, Monsignor Wach announced the progressing and ongoing recovery of Canon Wiener, Rector of the Oratory, and he asked once again fervent prayers for him so that he could come back to serve the Church in the USA. On behalf of the Institute and all the clergy who attended the retreat this year, Monsignor expressed his deep gratitude to the St. Louis faithful for their generous spirit and caring support of the Institute and its priests.

Special thanks to Jerry Naunheim Photography for the photos of Thursday's Solemn High Mass.

Click the images below to enlarge them.

Annual Priests Retreat
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