Confraternity of Penitents Catholic Weekend Retreats
Scripture tells us that Jesus rose early in the morning and spent time in solitary prayer and even spent entire nights in prayer. He took solitary respites to make time for prayer even though He had many important matters to tend to. By doing so, He demonstrated the essential need to make time for prayer. He instructed His apostles and followers to go away by themselves to a deserted place and rest, and to go to their room and close the door to pray. Jesus “had no place to rest,” according to the Bible, but the words of the psalms and gospels became His favorite resting places in the Heart of God.
St. Francis took this practice of the Lord very seriously. He and his brothers spent hours each week alone with God in prayer. He was often seen praying alone in the woods, in caves, on cliffs, and in abandoned churches. Just as St. Francis and the early penitents got together and spent much time alone with God, we also take this practice very seriously and “leave the world” to contemplate the Word and lift our hearts to the Lord in the many retreats offered through the Confraternity of Penitents.
Beyond meals and lodging, our retreats offer:
* Time for Holy Mass or Divine Liturgy where we leave the world for that “deserted place,” hear the Word of God, lift our hearts to Him, and receive from Him the spiritual nourishment of the Eucharist
* Time before the Blessed Sacrament and the Monstrance where we become absorbed in intimacy with Him Who is eternal Truth
* The opportunity to pledge to live the Rule and Constitutions together with the support of the Minister General and other members of the Confraternity
* Time for spiritual direction and confession where we share, reflect, receive support, and the healing graces of the Lord
* A series of presentations from a religious, experienced retreat master where we learn to grow in holiness, and deepen our faith and relationship with God and each other
* A sharing together in song and the communal recitation of the Liturgy of the Hours where we make the hours holy in our praise and thanksgiving to the Lord
* A “deserted place” in nature where we enter into the quiet, in contemplative prayer, the rosary, private prayer, or spiritual reading, and rest our heads on His Heart and listen
* Time for sharing with other retreatants privately or in groups where we give of ourselves to each other and become more of one mind and heart
* The opportunity to purchase spiritual books, media, recordings of retreat presentations, and many other religious items from our Confraternity of Penitents Holy Angels Gift Shop
The Confraternity of Penitents strongly encourages you to rest on the Heart of Jesus by making an annual spiritual retreat together with your brothers and sisters, because in no other place is the same Love, and there; enjoy a return to Love.
Please indicate your intent to make an annual retreat and check all that apply, then copy and paste into form and email to us. :
______ I intend to attend the annual retreat in the year_____________________
______ I cannot attend the retreat this year.
______ I would like to purchase a recording of the retreat presentation (when available).
Information on upcoming retreats is listed below:
Confraternity of Penitents Retreat, Reunion, Conference 2020
September 23, 24, 25, 26, and 27, 2020 -- St. Felix Catholic Retreat Center, 1280 Hitzfield Street, Huntington Indiana USA
Retreat Master: Father Matthew Palkowski, OFM Cap.
$195 plus $15 worth of food to share (we will be cooking our own meals) or $15 toward food costs.
Bedding is provided but please bring your own towel, wash cloth, soap, etc.
Commuters (Wednesday Night, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday (early morning Mass only)
Includes all lunches, suppers. Does not include overnight stay at St. Felix.
(We expect that commuters will eat breakfast at home as conferences will begin after breakfast time)
Commuter Cost: $60 plus $15 of food or paper goods or $15 toward costs of food and paper goods.
Retreat Topic: To Be announced.
Daily -- Mass, Conferences, full Divine Office, time for private prayer and reflection.
We will pick up airport, train, or bus attendees free of charge and transport them to the retreat and, after the retreat, back to the appropriate location to return home. If you are coming by mass transportation, please contact us regarding the best ports of arrival.
Information on Father Matthew:
Fr. Matthew was born in 1960, in Detroit MI. He received an undergraduate degree in Finance in 1982 from Michigan State University. He received his graduate degree in Theology, an STB, from the Catholic University of America in 1989. He worked at the Smithsonian before entering the Capuchins.
He has served as Parochial Vicar at the Shrine of the Sacred Heart in Washington DC and at St. John’s in Philadelphia. He was a Hospital Chaplain in Harrisburg, PA. He was the Chaplain at the City Jail in Philadelphia. He invited the Pope to visit the inmates when the Pope came to the city jail in Philadelphia, in 2015.
He has preached at parish missions and at retreats for lay groups. He has given retreats for priests and for religious men and women. He has worked with the Secular Franciscans as a Local, Regional and Provincial Spiritual Assistant.
Fr. Matthew is working on a Theology of Beauty as a particularly Franciscan approach to Theology. Because St. Francis saw the image of God in so much of the created order, approaching God as the Highest in Beauty has a special place for all those interested in Franciscan Theology and Spirituality.