On Sunday, August 5, some 50 Holy Cross Brothers and the Brothers’ chaplain, Fr. Bob Gilmour, C.S.C., came together at the District Center in Brafoyaw for their annual retreat. It began with the opening remarks by Br. Michael Amakyi, C.S.C., District Superior followed by dinner and then Evening Prayer. The Retreat Master was Fr. Philip Taylor, S.P., who is Vicar General of the Congregation of the Servants of the Paraclete (photo at right).The key theme of the retreat conferences were “that only by receiving the love, compassion and forgiveness of God can we religious grow into our calling and grow in our relationship with God and with our fellow brothers.” Fr. Taylor is currently assigned with two professed brothers to found a community of their congregation here in Ghana.
Perhaps not many in our own Congregation are aware that the relatively young Paraclete congregation was founded by Holy Cross priest, Fr. Gerald Fitzgerald, C.S.C., in New Mexico.
Another of their priests, Fr. Raymond Gunzel, S.P., was a former member of Holy Cross, and will join Fr. Taylor in Ghana next month — small world! Fr. Philip presented a morning conference, except for the first morning, which was a quiet time for all to settle in and orient themselves to the retreat. The quiet period extended throughout the length of the retreat, even at meal times. He also gave relatively lengthy homilies along with his celebration of the Eucharist.
A highlight of the retreat, as expressed by many in attendance, was the Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament each day following the morning conference until shortly before the evening Mass at 5:00 p.m.
Veneration of the Blessed Sacrament was up to the discretion of the individual retreatant. A formal Holy Hour, with all present, was held at 3:00 p.m. All prayed together the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, which has a repetitive invocation to God, Father of Mercy of the Rosary “beads.”The retreat ended following the evening Mass on Friday, but all remained at the Center for the next day to honor our deceased Holy Cross members of the District.