Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Time for the Annual Retreat

 Church at the Abbey of the Genesee

Dear Parishioners,

I was able to say a public Mass in our church yesterday, (Monday, November 8, 2021).  For me, this was an important accomplishment since I had not been able to do so for about a month.  After my hospital discharge, I was gradually able to say Mass in the rectory, mostly sitting down.  Not yesterday.  I was able to say Mass once again in the church.  May God be praised!

As I tell people, I am not 100% yet.  I still get winded at times.  I am still dealing with some unusual fatigue.  I have been told by many people who have had Covid-19 that it may take much more time than I would think or want.

At any rate, I am back in the saddle.

Months ago, before I ever imagined getting sick, I had made arrangements to go on my annual retreat.  Canon law requires priests to make a five day retreat annually.  My tradition has been to join the Trappist Monks for some time of silent prayer.  (To be honest, I have had an over-abundance of silent prayer lately!)

So if you do not see me for a short time, I did not have a relapse.  I am simply away with a few of my brother priests on retreat and then taking a few days together for a brief vacation.  I will be back in time for Thanksgiving.

Fr. John O’Leary, a priest whom I have known since I was in high school, will be staying at the rectory and covering for me while I am away.  He did the same last year, so I could get away.

I will be staying at the Abbey of the Genesee, in Piffard, NY.  I have previously related how the monks bake Monks’ Bread there to help sustain their monastery.  The monks keep a strict prayer regimen in the monastery, praying seven times a day.  I am not sure to what level we are currently able to participate since many of the monks are elderly and there have been restrictions on visitors.

Know that I will be praying for you!  May I ask that you remember me next week, with a special prayer for my physical and spiritual health?

While I am on the topic, retreats can be very beneficial for us all.  I have known various groups of men who are Men of Malvern, annually attending the retreats provided at the Malvern Retreat House in Malvern, PA.  Others attend San Alphonso, a retreat house run by the Redemptorists in Long Branch, NJ.  There are a number of such places in our area and throughout the country.  Maybe one would be good for you!

As I mentioned, I will return in time to celebrate Thanksgiving dinner with my family at the rectory.  My brother and I will be cooking!

With my continued prayers,

Fr. Ed Namiotka


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