Finally, after two years, the Holy Family Institute Triduum 2021 was held from September 17th to 19th at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Lebanon Basilica in North Jackson Ohio. The theme was: Sacred Story/Until Christ is formed in you. The retreat was preached by Fr. Matthew Roehrig, SSP, the delegate for the Institute.
Out of the 306 members of the HFI in the United States and Canada, the number of participants was particularly large due to the Covid-19 and other travel restrictions – 45 in attendance at the Basilica and about 20 connected via Zoom.
During the Year of the Word of God, Fr. Matthew recommended the use of the website www.hfiusa.org. where everybody can find talks, Holy hours, and contact information for the members. He also recommended his YouTube channel where previous videos are found.
The meditations of the following days were based on two books. The first was: Sacred Story: An Ignatian Examen for the Third Millennium by Fr. Bill Watson SJ. Topics included: How and why did St. Ignatius Loyola develop the Examen prayer? What is it supposed to accomplish for those who practice it? Why do people choose to forgo this discipline that has proven to be invaluable and essential to spiritual growth and the discernment of spirits over the centuries? What are the contemporary cultural crises confronting today's would-be Examen practitioners provoking distrust, fear, or dismissive attitudes towards it? How can an Examen faithful to Ignatius original method be modernized to address the mindset of today's Christians? This book in its three parts takes a new approach to answer these questions.
The second book is of the founder of the Pauline Family, Blessed Fr. James Alberione, Donec Formetur Christus In Vobis. Topics included: What are the Spiritual Exercises? The spiritual exercises are a period of time (three days, five days, eight days, thirty days) dedicated to exercise oneself in acts of faith, love, and prayer, so as to prepare oneself and be united with God in view of a holier life and beatitude in heaven. “Spiritual” exercises as opposed to others exercises. Union with God is rooted in the Divine Master, Jesus Christ Way, Truth and Life. There are different types of spiritual exercises: some are in view of conversion or perfection, others for one's vocation, the religious life, the priestly life but their general purpose is always to achieve a complete renewal of the practice of religion, both inwardly and outwardly, in private and in public. The aim is, in fact, to sanctify the whole person: mind, will and heart in accordance with one's own state, vocation or background. Thus, the need to meditate on dogma, morals and worship.
Overall, these were three beautiful and intense days that enriched the participants. The hope is to meet again in 2022, even more numerous.