LUMSDEN, Sask. — Rev. Richard Fragomeni said he hopes the Holy Spirit will speak to the more than 50 priests attending the annual Regina Archdiocesan Priests Retreat May 4 - 8 at St. Michael’s Retreat Centre.
Fragomeni, retreat master from the Catholic Theological Union, Chicago, said he gave the priests a series of meditations during which he hoped the Holy Spirit would speak to them.
“This is a retreat, not a workshop,” said Fragomeni; “a workshop is giving information but in a retreat I hope that during the meditations the Holy Spirit will touch the hearts of the priests.”
Fragomeni focused the meditations on Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel), published in November 2013.
A papal exhortation encourages a particular activity, in this case studying the gospel. An encyclical is usually a teaching document dealing with a particular issue, i.e., Pope John Paul II’s Evangelium Vitae, the Sanctity of Life, which is often quoted.
“I show the priests in each session a few passages from this document and have them read in advance a couple of paragraphs in the hope that they will be inspired by the Spirit to be better Christians, better priests, better disciples of Christ.”
A few of the priests speaking with the PM said they appreciated Fragomeni’s use of humour in his presentations. Fragomenti explained the Latin root of the word humour is humus which is also the root for English words human, earth, humility and many others. “In other words for us to be earthy, to be like Christ who became human among us we have to have some humanity and some humility and some humour.”
Each day of the retreat began with a liturgy in the morning and ended in the evening after supper. There were prayer sessions during the day and times for the priests to observe quiet time for meditation but encouraged to have conversations during meal times.
Regina Archbishop Daniel Bohan celebrated the concluding mass, at which time he also instituted seminarian Ricardo Escalante as Lector and Acolyte, the first two steps to priestly ordination. Escalante studies philosophy in Rome and will begin his year-long pastoral service in September with ordination sometime in the fall of 2016.