Last weekend I gave a retreat at White House, the Jesuit Retreat House in St. Louis. There were 77 men on the retreat, most of whom were alumni of Jesuit high schools and universities. After the retreat I moved to Bellarmine House of Studies, five houses near St. Louis University where the Jesuit scholastics live and study philosophy and theology after their novitiate. It's been a quiet and hospitable setting for me. I had all sorts of plans to visit people I know in the area but unfortunately that didn't work out.
On Wednesday I gave a talk at the local Serra Club, a group that works and prays for vocations to the priesthood and consecrated life. I spoke about the spirituality of offering that the Apostleship of Prayer promotes and how this can create a vocation-friendly environment in families and parishes. Ann Moloney, mother of nine who hosts a weekly radio show for moms on the local Catholic station (Covenant Radio), invited me to do an interview with her. We talked more about the spirituality of offering and how it can help busy Moms (and all of us) in the midst of daily activities which often seem to have no importance in the bigger picture but which, when united to the perfect offering of Jesus, have eternal significance. I was also able to record a 30 second spot to promote the Hearts on Fire retreat for young adults which is coming to St. Louis Feb. 24-25. Fr. Phil Hurley and the Jesuit Mission Band just returned from the Bahamas where over 50 people participated in a Hearts on Fire Retreat. They got rave reviews in the local paper.
Today the annual St. Louis Marian conference begins and I'll be giving three talks. Tonight I'll be speaking about "Fatima: the Call to Prayer and Penance." Tomorrow afternoon it will be "Pope John Paul II's Eucharistic Amazement" and on Sunday morning I'll talk about "Living a Eucharistic Life." I'm looking forward to the interaction that invariably follows giving a talk at a conference and meeting people at the table I'll have set up.
On Sunday afternoon I'll return to Milwaukee where I hear winter has also returned.