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Waiting for a Miracle: Advent Morning of Reflection

Are you waiting for a miracle? Advent is a time of waiting or longing for something in our lives. How can Jesus show us the gift that He is? Come to Capuchin Retreat and discover how His gifts are always present in our lives today and always.

Join us for one of two days of reflection on “Waiting for a Miracle.” The morning begins with optional 8:00 am Mass. Registration begins at 9:00 am with coffee and tea, followed by two conferences and ending before noon.

Suggested offering if $35 per person. A cloth face covering must be worn during Mass and program. Registration is required due to limited space. Call (248) 651-4826 to arrange a special day for your church or group.

Waiting for a Miracle: Advent Morning of Reflection

Are you waiting for a miracle? Advent is a time of waiting or longing for something in our lives. How can Jesus show us the gift that He is? Come to Capuchin Retreat and discover how His gifts are always present in our lives today and always.

Join us for one of two days of reflection on “Waiting for a Miracle.” The morning begins with optional 8:00 am Mass. Registration begins at 9:00 am with coffee and tea, followed by two conferences and ending before noon.

Suggested offering if $35 per person. A cloth face covering must be worn during Mass and program. Registration is required due to limited space. Call (248) 651-4826 to arrange a special day for your church or group.

Morning of Reflection: Where Are You, God?

Have you ever wondered: “Where is God in this pandemic?” Is God absent and no longer present in our midst? Capuchin Retreat is your Franciscan home reminding you that God is ever present even in the most difficult times , as we bear our own crosses. Franciscan spirituality can help us stay grounded in faith and find new courage in order to recognize that God is always within our midst.

You must wear a mask during Mass & program. Registration is required due to limited space.

Please bring your own chair for outdoor Mass, rain or shine.

The morning of reflection begins at 8:00 am with optional outdoor Mass, followed by registration at 9:00 am with coffee and tea. This is followed by two conferences ending by 12:00 noon.

Morning of Reflection: Where Are You, God?

Have you ever wondered: “Where is God in this pandemic?” Is God absent and no longer present in our midst? Capuchin Retreat is your Franciscan home reminding you that God is ever present even in the most difficult times , as we bear our own crosses. Franciscan spirituality can help us stay grounded in faith and find new courage in order to recognize that God is always within our midst.

You must wear a mask during Mass & program. Registration is required due to limited space.

Please bring your own chair for outdoor Mass, rain or shine.

The morning of reflection begins at 8:00 am with optional outdoor Mass, followed by registration at 9:00 am with coffee and tea. This is followed by two conferences ending by 12:00 noon.

Lay Down Your Burdens – A Morning of Healing for Health Care Workers

Who: Any health care worker

What: Morning retreat with discussions, reflection and fellowship

Call (248) 651-4826 to reserve your spot

Have you been able to process your stress from the COVID crisis?

Do you need some time to get away from all your responsibilities?

Are you eager to feel hope again?

Presented from the Franciscan perspective, join Fr. Tom Nguyen and Chaplain Bridget Theodoroff, M.A.P.S. (hospital chaplain during COVID-19) for a morning of releasing your burdens and reflection. All are welcome. All participants will have a chance to share their experiences and world views.

Outside as long as weather permits. Please bring a mask or face covering.

Brothers and Sisters

By Fr. Tom Zelinski, OFM Cap.

The main content or theme of Pope Francis’ new encyclical seems to be a reminder of ideas straight out of the Gospels and the spirit of Franciscan thought: we are all brothers and sisters, children of God, and the implications of that reality. We have heard these things before.

But the Holy Father wants to reinforce these basic beliefs as we emerge from the pandemic, whenever that will be! He wants us to learn from our experience in this time of sickness and suffering. How well have we cared for each other, all around the world? How have we not cared for each other and what might be improved to change that?

Among other things, he calls for improvement in health care systems, and to examine why, in some places, so many died and were not given needed care. Part of this always depends on material resources. The poorer people are, the less health care is available to them.

So the Holy Father challenges us in our view of economic forces, and challenges our ways of capitalism and materialism. How do we indeed share the goods of the earth with all our brothers and sisters? Along with this, he also speaks about our care for the earth itself, which recalls his other encyclical, Laudato Sí.

Some of his words may disturb dyed-in-the-wool capitalists, materialists, and so called “free market” business types. Francis echoes the challenges of Popes before him, some of whom we now call “saints.” The Gospels and the Franciscan spirit ask us to re-think our capitalist, materialist, rugged individualist priorities. We are brothers and sisters to each other and to all creation.

Social Distancing

By Fr. Tom Zelinski, OFM Cap.

The term, “social distancing,” has become part of our language. These days we keep our distance. In church we sit spaced apart from others. In stores and offices we see markers on the floor, indicating where to stand. There are limits to numbers at gatherings.

We avoid familiar human touching. Hand shakes are rare. Hugging happens less. The hand on the shoulder is avoided. Not all the time, but in general we are conscious of life in the pandemic age. At least we do some “elbow bumping” with good humor.

I wonder what this is doing to us. Someday studies will be made of “social customs during the time of pandemic.” Our more severe distancing has taken a toll on families who cannot visit relatives in hospitals and nursing homes. There are many deaths with no family present. Healthy family members choose not to visit each other, just to be safe. Surely this has to affect our mental and emotional life.

I also wonder, then, if all this can be teaching and reinforcing something in us: how much we need human contact and how we need each other. Maybe all this can increase our appreciation of the important people in our lives. For the time being, there can be the effort to reach out with our electronic communications and the written word. Yes, cards and letters!

And when it becomes more possible, we may appreciate even more the handshake and the warm embrace, and to stand right next to the stranger in church.

The Wooden Beam

By Fr. Tom Zelinski, OFM Cap.

In the Gospel for Friday of the 23rd Week, we have the famous image of the beam in one’s eye. Jesus gives us a teaching about self knowledge. We are not to criticize or pick at other people’s faults when we are not willing to acknowledge our own failings (Luke 6:39-42).

Down through the ages, teachers of prayer have stressed the need for self knowledge as part of a mature spirituality: from Catherine of Siena, to John of the Cross, to Teresa of Avila, to Ignatius of Loyola, down to Thomas Merton and Richard Rohr in our day.

Those who practice the 12 Steps recognize the need for self knowledge and sincerity as they take their “fearless moral inventory” and then tell their story to a willing listener (Steps Four and Five). They are willing to remove the beam of their own blindness and admit their truth.

The beam of blindness is at the center of all racism and bigotry and the large ego of people who will not admit their own shortcomings. It can be a big problem in marriage and other relationships. The beam of blindness causes people to always blame others for their problems.

So this image remains central to an honest and sincere attempt to lead a Christian life, which should also be a healthy psychological life.

“Remove the beam from your own eye first, and then try to help your brother or sister.”

Good Measure

By Fr. Tom Zelinski, OFM Cap.

The Gospel for Thursday of Week 23 is a challenging statement about Christian love. We are to love everyone. We are to love our enemies and pray for those who do us harm. We are to treat everyone the way we want to be treated. We are to lend without expecting a return. We are not to judge or condemn anyone (Luke 6:27-38).

We have heard these things many times, and each time we may wonder: Who can live like that? Perhaps we can’t, with our own power and resources. We always fall short of the ideal, and we lean on the mercy of God.

We need to recall that God treats us that way,loving us unconditionally. When we fall short, when we get angry, or hold grudges, or cling to bitterness, God continues to show us mercy and encourages us to move beyond those things, to get up and keep walking and try again.

Key to the Gospel passage is when Jesus tells us, “The measure with which you measure will in turn be measured out to you.” In other words, Jesus tells us to take an overview of our lives, perhaps each day. We are to start out with a way of “measuring” our relationships and our actions from a standpoint of gratitude, acceptance, and willingness to forgive — and not to wait for something to happen before we react.

This may be another form of those famous words of Blessed Solanus: “Thank God ahead of time,” no matter what the future holds.

Lay Down Your Burdens – A Morning of Healing for Health Care Workers

Who: Any health care worker

What: Morning retreat with discussions, reflection and fellowship

Call (248) 651-4826 to reserve your spot

Have you been able to process your stress from the COVID crisis?

Do you need some time to get away from all your responsibilities?

Are you eager to feel hope again?

Presented from the Franciscan perspective, join Fr. Tom Nguyen and Chaplain Bridget Theodoroff, M.A.P.S. (hospital chaplain during COVID-19) for a morning of releasing your burdens and reflection. All are welcome. All participants will have a chance to share their experiences and world views.

Outside as long as weather permits. Please bring a mask or face covering.

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