Retreats and Days of Reflection

The goal of the retreat is to grow in greater intimacy with Christ the Servant by rediscovering the gift of our vocation through a reflection on the Servant Mysteries as found in the diaconal prayer of ordination.


To achieve this goal, we will return to the day of our ordination not in the sense of our memory, but in the sacramental sense of making present and participating in that which is timeless and eternal. This will be accomplished through three fundamental elements that center on a lectio divina of the prayer of diaconal ordination. These elements are:

          (1)  Our relationship to Christ the Servant

          (2)  Our identity in Christ the Servant 
Our mission for Christ the Servant

By carefully reading, meditating and praying these mysteries, interspersed with adoration and discussion, the deacon deepens his relationship to Christ the Servant, strengthens his identity in Christ the Servant, and better lives out his mission in Christ the Servant. 

Retreat Approach

This approach, pioneered by Father Richard Gabuzda and Deacon James Keating of the Institute of Priestly Formation, is adapted to the diaconate as a means to renew the order. This is accomplished through a deeper spirituality rooted in an ongoing reflection on the Servant Mysteries as expressed in the diaconal prayer of ordination. The Servant Mysteries can be defined as Christ’s servanthood as revealed in Sacred Scripture, Sacred Tradition, and as taught by the Magisterium. For our purposes, servanthood (diakonia) is understood as a gift-of-self that wills the good of another for the sake of the other as exemplified by Jesus Christ.

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The retreat can be configured for deacons or for deacon candidates 
Deacon wives can be included and special effort will be made to show how these very same servant principles apply to their vocation