Sharpsburg parish retreat provides chance for growth
With Easter as the time for rebirth in the Catholic faith, the Rev. Michael Decewicz says it is the perfect season to introduce a parish retreat.
“It's a time to refresh,” said Decewicz, pastor of St. Juan Diego in Sharpsburg.
“It's a wonderful opportunity to grow.”
The first-ever parish retreat will be March 3 through 6 at two of the parish churches, Madonna of Jerusalem and St. Mary.
It will be led by Friar Bernie Tickerhoof, of the Third Order Regular of St. Francis.
Tickerhoof is director of ongoing formation for his religious community and a member of the retreat team, Franciscan Pathways.
“Friar Bernie offers retreats and spiritual programs at retreat centers, parishes and religious congregations around the region. These are tailored to the particular needs of the group,” Decewicz said.
Topics include holistic spirituality, faith and biblical conversion and leadership development.
Everyone in the community is welcome to attend the sessions.
Decewicz says it will be a time for reinvigorating the soul and refreshing the spirit.
The first night will include a presentation called “Return to the Lord,” at St. Mary, followed with a continued theme of prayer and discussion on the next three evenings.
The retreat will conclude with a healing service and an Anointing of the Sick at Madonna of Jerusalem.
Tickerhoof, who earned a Doctor of Ministry at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary in 2001, has been involved in retreat work since 1979 and has traveled widely throughout the country for preaching and spiritual conferences.
“Friar Bernie is a founding member of the Vineyard Guild, an ecumenical organization dedicated to promoting spiritual leadership,” Decewicz said.
Not surprisingly, his hobbies include storytelling, liturgical expression and ecological concerns. He is the author of several books about spirituality.
The retreat complements other parish programs meant to inspire people.
There will be Passion Presentations March 10 and 14 to delve into different gospels.
On March 17, there will be an Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, Benediction and Vespers at 5:30 p.m. at St. Mary.
That leads into Holy Week with Masses, confession and a traditional Good Friday walk through Sharpsburg for Stations of the Cross.
On Holy Saturday, there will be a 12:30 p.m. Blessing of the Baskets at St. John.
“We have begun our Lenten journey of grace, which calls us to embrace the cross and glory in the resurrection,” Decewicz said.
It is a time to do something to assist in the quest to grow closer to God, he says.
“I suggest that we embrace a real challenge for change in our behavior, attitudes and activities,” Decewicz says.
Tawnya Panizzi is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-782-2121, ext. 2 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.