Spring 1967

Page 97

"Retreat!" What does this THE FORUM word bring to mind?" To some priests it conjures up a pleas¡ ant vision of a time for rest and a chance to meet old friends while catching up on ::!Ji:Jcu:Hion the gossip of the diocese. To others it means a time of peace, quiet and prayer. But to an ever-growing group the word retreat brings to mind the yearly ordeal of marching off to the retreat house to hear pious platitudes and talks which do not confront the real needs of the twentieth century priest. + Most priests acutely feel the need to put aside the pressures of the active ministry in order to spend some time examinGERARD P. WEBER ing their relationship with God. The question is whether the traditional retreat structure of silence and a condensed ver+ sion of the Spiritual Exercises is the best way to meet this need. Until another genius like St. Ignatius appears to create a retreat structure ideally suited to the needs of the modern world, the priest who is dissatisfied with what he has been receiving must be willing to experiment with different ap¡ proaches to the annual retreat. No one really knows what is

_A. Retreat