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Sunday, 05 June 2011 10:24

Father Martin to lead annual retreat for priests of diocese

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p3-fr-sean-martinBishop Thomas John Paprocki and many of the priests of the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois will take part in the annual priests’ retreat for 2011 in early June. The retreat, which will be held at King’s House retreat center in Belleville, begins at 7 p.m. Sunday, June 5 and ends at 11 a.m. Friday, June 10.

While on retreat the priests will spend a lot of time in prayer, said Father Joe Ring, vicar for clergy and pastor of St. James Parish in Riverton.

“This tends to be a quiet time. We celebrate Mass every day and have Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer together every day,” said Father Ring. “We’ll also have two conferences per day (during the week), and we’ll have eucharistic exposition and Benediction and the opportunity to go to the sacrament of penance.”

Father Sean Martin, associate professor of Biblical Studies at Aquinas Institute of Theology in St. Louis, will serve as retreat director. He has a master’s degree in English from the University of Notre Dame, a master’s degree in theology from the University of Dallas, and both his licentiate and doctorate in Sacred Theology from Pontificie Universita Gregoriana in Rome.

Although the retreat is timed so that priests will be at their home parishes for weekend Masses, Father Ring expects that a few may be called back to a parish, should some emergency happen.

“Sometimes something comes up in a parish and a priest has to leave the retreat to take care of it,” said Father Ring. “Some years I’ve been called back to Riverton for a funeral.”

The next time the priests will all gather together as a group will probably be at the Priests’ Convocation in September, Father Ring said.