The Team preaches at the weekend liturgies and at an opening conference Sunday evening. From Monday through Thursday there is a morning and an evening session with a Healing Mass Wednesday evening.
Fr. Joseph Bidwill, O.P.
Now in a full-time preaching ministry, Fr. Joe comes with a background of teaching scripture and theology at the college and graduate levels.
Fr. Tony Kilroy, O.P.
Coming with a background in parish ministry and high school counseling, Fr. Tony's full-time preaching ministry is complemented by spiritual direction and 12 Step ministry.
Sr. Dorothy Mrock, O.S.F.|
With a background of teaching and being a member of her community's formation team, Sr. Dorothy is actively engaged in parish pastoral ministry and lay ministry preparation.
Dominic and Francis both wished to move among the people with the Word of God. From the beginning they were known to be "mendicant" rather than "monastic". As Dominicans and Franciscan, we come in their spirit.
What memories do you have of a retreat? What images does that word conjure up for you? Many of us think of sermons of hell -- guilt -- sin -- confession -- of going out into the cold night afraid to cross the street or drive a car again until we'd gotten to confession. Somewhat later, retreats became a time away -- leaving -- going to a different place and space, leaving one's ordinary daily life behind for a few days ( or for those fortunate enough, a week) "to do something for God". The more contemporary view is that a retreat is a quiet pause along the journey, to help us get in touch with God, with others, and with ourselves.
The Mendicant team of Father Joseph Bidwill, Father Tony Kilroy and Sister Dorothy Mrock will be at St. Richard's February 19-23, for a preached retreat. (Mendicants are persons who follow in the footsteps of St. Dominic and St. Francis and choose to move among the people with the Word of God as opposed to being monastic.)
Focusing on the "good" in the Good News (the "good" is that God loves each of us, unconditionally), this retreat team defines their approch to retreats as a "time to share stories and reflect on what is going on in our lives." This sharing and reflecting helps us think and gets us looking at ourselves. Specifically, retreat participants look at "Who is God for me at this point in my life, given all that has happened to me?" Retreatants will be invited to stretch and grow in understanding their faith.
Visiting with Sister Dorothy Mrock and Father Bidwill, I felt in the presence of very special people; they radiate sincerity, enthusiasm, holiness and good humor. I came away feeling they feally did have my inner well-being at heart; they really do want me to be a more peaceful, more faithful, more joyful person. They wanted me to understand my relationship with the Lord and who He is in my life, and they will help me grow in this direction.
It has been seven years since Fathers Mike and Carson Champlin gave a retreat at St. Richard's. we are in need of the blessings that come with a retreat. Our parish has cancelled or postponed all evening meetings and activities the week of February 19 to give everyone an opportuity to participate in this very special event. Fr. Greg Esty, St. Richard's pastor, issued this invitaiton: "All too often we get busy about so many things. We need to slow down and listen to the Lord about what is truly important. I pray that our parish retreat will be a blessed time to reflect and let God love us."
Father Bidwill, one of the retreat team, put it this way: "What is your image of God, of church, of yourself, of perfection. We need to see God in one another, and we need to know God as the one who loves us unconditionally. We invite you to have your image of God stretched, shaken up (in a healthy way." "We want to set people free -- we want to free them from all the unfreedoms in their lives. Sister Dorothy Mrock continued, "We want to affirm people where they are --- affirmation is a big part of what we are doing."
In their 15 years of giving retreats together, the team has been very affirmed in their positive, Scripture-oriented, informal approach:
- "My husband came home so excited after the first night; he gave me the whole talk, word for word -- I had to come to the rest of the sessions."
- "If I had heard this sisty hears ago, I wouldn't have lived so much of my life in pain."
But sometimmes not so affirmed":
- "Aren't you going to talk about sin?"
- "If you guys aren't going to talk fire and brimstone, I'm not coming any more!"
Making connections between Scriptures and our lives is a major aspect in this retreat. "How do the Scriptures apply to me where I am in my life journey? How do I connect my story with the story in the Scriptures?" The retreat gets people to talk with each other about their spirituality; it gives us permission to talk more intimately, to get beyond the weather, sports and up coming events. (There are no "small groups"; the talking is done privately.)
A special part of the retreat is the Wednesday evening Mass, which has prayers for healing as an integral part. This is not an anointing Mass, it is for healing all brokenness -- for physical, mental, emotional, spiritual healing; for healing memories, relationships, resentments, conflicts, wounds, anything that needs healing.
To prepare for the retreat, retreatants are urged to pray -- "pray for each other and pray to be open." "Come with a sense of expectancy; it's not so much what we are going to do for God this week but what God is going to do for us." "Come with openness: "How will the Lord speak to me this week?"
Father Bidwill and Father Kilroy are Dominicans; Father Bidwill does retreat and renewal work; Father Kilroy has been counselor at Cretin-Durham as well as being part of the retreat team. Sister Dorothy Mrock is a Franciscan, currently working as a pastoral assistant at Guardian Angels Parish in Lake Elmo as well as on the retreat team.
(The quotes in this article are from an interview with Father Bidwill and Sister Dorothy Mrock.)
Our Preaching Ministry has taken us to the following states:
Contact: Fr. Bidwill or Fr. Kilroy
2833 32nd Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55406
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