Jul 10, 2006


Just back from a retreat that I ran this weekend. Lots of great folks who inspired me with their many thoughts and open hearts for God and one another. Great weather was the icing on the cake.

I was very impressed with Paulist seminarian Steven Bell who is one of the more pastoral people I know. I really think the world of him and enjoy his company in general but this weekend showed me that he's going to be one heck of a priest. Many praised his good pastoral sense as well.

As the director it's sometimes hard for me to get into the flow of the weekend and this weekend proved to be the same. Because I worry about much that is going on--whether people are connecting, those who seek direction from me, the food being prepared correctly, the team leader's talks, etc... I don't get much of a chance to relax myself.

I felt good about the reconciliation service I led with Jenene Francis my collegue who runs retreats for the Jesuits in Chicago. We recreated the washing of the feet and I think many were moved by it.

One challenge for me is often managing others on the weekend. I do a poor job sometimes with being firm with people and giving direct orders. Probably because I like being liked and hate controversy. I had an unhappy cook this weekend--who I love like a sister but who irks my last nerve sometimes. Coupling her with my wife's attempts to be helpful in the kitchen made for some fireworks...some legitimate complaints on the cook's part and some short-sightedness on everyone's part, puts me in a no-win situation. Fortunately for me my priest buddy stepped in and mediated.

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