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Editor: Diane Anderson July/Aug/Sept 2011 Visit us on the web: http://www.villadesiderata.com Prayer Corner A beloved member of our community, Tom Kusmerz, passed away on Monday, June 20th. He is survived by his wife, Marie, 3 children, 3 step children, 8 grandchildren, 1 great grandchild, and 5 siblings. He was a proud husband, Dad, and Grandpa. He was a member of the Knights of Columbus, a Boy Scout leader for many years, an excellent roller skater, was involved with the Villa for many, many years, and loved collectibles because he was an avid historian. Tom was 79 years young. We will all miss him dearly. Please keep him and his family in your prayers. Please pray for each and every person on our prayer list: A Batavia high school senior was killed in an auto accident May 17th. She was the daughter of Jeff Gilbert, one of our facilitators and involved with the Hope Outreach program. John Kubica, Ken Rago, Rich Budzynski, Bob Powers, facilitator Loretta Rossini, Dottie Becker, John Halloran, John Lynk, and Betty Cichon. Thank you for all of your prayers.

Happy Independence Day

Retreat Schedule JULY AND AUGUST HAVE OPEN DATES FOR RENTALS September 09-11 Woman's Spiritual Chris H. 847-772-4927 16-18 AA Men Bill K. 630-816-4195 23-25 ACOA Mixed Audrey 815-245-0914 30-10/2 AA Men Jerry 630-859-1940 October 07-09 NOT AVAILABLE 14-16 Mixed 12-Step Lesa 847-475-7404 21-23 AA-Alanon, Men/Women Bob 847-800-3137 28-31 LUTZHAUS AVAILABLE FOR RENT For a complete schedule of retreats for the rest of the year, please go to: www.villadesiderata.com

Open Mic Night Our own Dominic will present the ongoing fundraiser for the Villa, Open Mic Night, with music, sing-a-long, and fun for a $5.00 donation. The next dates are; July 20th, Aug. 17th, and Sept. 21st. Please bring a snack to pass. Thank you.


The Viatorian Behind Villa Desiderata Retreat Center For almost fifty years, Br. Patrick Drohan, CSV, has been working quietly, steadily, and diligently to ensure that Villa Desiderata, runs smoothly. His present ministerial focus is on adult retreat groups, primarily those in 12-step programs, where he has seen thousands of people leave with a firm interior grounding to help them live lives of sobriety and productivity. Br. Pat began his work in 1963 as part of a Viatorian retreat team which offered retreats to Saint Viator High School students. His mentor was the retreat master, the late Fr. Eugene Lutz, CSV, a man known for being firm, caring, with a quick sense of humor, and a very firm handshake. Fr. Lutz's experiences as a marine, and as a POW in Asia during World War II for four and a half years, forged in him an intolerance for self-pity and irresponsibility, a quality that everyone who spoke with him immediately recognized. On the final evening of the senior retreats, people from Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) would speak to the students about their personal experiences with alcohol and drug use. For young men being bombarded with the myth that inebriation equals popularity and virility, the discussions would often be lengthy and spirited. When Saint Viator High School ceased sending their seniors offsite for retreats, Fr. Lutz and Br. Pat redirected the ministerial focus of Villa. At that time home Masses were very popular and Fr. Lutz and Br. Pat were frequent guests in local homes where Fr. Lutz celebrated prayerful and intimate liturgies. As the numbers of participants became larger, Fr. Lutz and Br. Pat invited them to come to the villa chapel for Sunday Mass. They established a faith community that continues to this day. Br. Pat coordinates the Sunday

Viatorian contd. liturgies and is a constant presence every week. Many of the Mass participants were recovering alcoholics. Even though Fr. Lutz was not in recovery, they saw in him a person of integrity who would immediately see through any phoniness. Thus, many sought him out to make an inventory of their past lives, so as to begin anew. While he always listened attentively and empathically, if he felt that someone was not being completely honest, he would immediately tell the individual to go home, do more work, and then come back. Even though he ruffled some feathers, people knew he was right and respected him for it. Many returned. In 1971, a group of men from AA approached Fr. Lutz and Br. Pat about having their own retreat, to which they agreed. From this small beginning the present ministry at the Villa grew to what it is today. From the men's retreat, the ministry has branched out to hosting retreats for women in AA, adult children of alcoholics, AA couples retreat, and Alanon. Br. Pat saysthat approximately 90% of the retreats are 12-step retreats. When cancer struck Fr. Lutz, Br. Pat and the Villa community gladly performed numerous tasks to care for him in his last days--an example of mutual ministry. Br. Pat continues and develops the legacy of Fr. Lutz. In his quiet and gentle manner, he ensures the good operation of the villa. He checks to make sure that the supplies are purchased and delivered; the building and


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Chris and Art-Retreat Administrators

grounds are maintained; and while the groups are meeting, they have what they need. With almost fifty years of experience at Villa, many people consider Br. Pat a friend and confidant. He continues the Fr. Lutz tradition of not tolerating self-pity. His many years of experience have given him a keen insight into the people who come to the Villa. He noted that, unfortunately, the problem of drug and alcohol addiction keeps growing and there is no lack of retreat candidates. Many arrive with only a few hours of sobriety and walk through the doors because their sponsors are bringing them. They are at rock bottom and their future holds either recovery or self-destruction--it's their choice. Br. Pat said that he is still amazed at the miracles that have occurred. From all appearances, it seemed that there was no hope for many of the retreat candidates; yet, numerous retreatants have emerged clean and sober because of a power greater than themselves to live effective lives where they in turn reach out to others. As Br. Pat celebrates his 48th year at the Villa, he has seen many people walk through the doors. He knows from experience the value of personal one-on-one ministry that has transformed so many lives. By reaching out to those in recovery, Br. Pat fulfills the Viatorian mission of affirming the value and dignity of every human being, especially those who are accounted of little or no importance by mainstream society. Thomas Long, CSV Taken from an article in the Viatorian Community Newsletter, The Viator Spring 2011 issue, Vol 16, Number 2

In special recognition and congratulations to Chris and Art Houtsinger for an incredible job for the last 8 years as retreat administrators and for keeping the retreat schedule full for the course of the year. Job well done. You are truly the Villa’s earth angels.

13th Annual Scholarship Fundraiser In Memory of Fr Lutz Picnic

Fun for all!!


Spitz Bitz Hello readers of the Villa Voice. The online dictionary defines tidbits as follows: Noun, a small piece of tasty food o a small and particularly interesting item of gossip or information. Hmmm‌ and as for Spitz Bitz it is a more of a "hodgepodge" defined as a confused mixture. Please know I am open for suggestions, comments and questions. As you may know I am a chaplain for Family Centered Hospice, which allows me the privilege of providing spiritual care for the sick and dying. As part of our bereavement services we offer an on-going grief support group called H.O.P.E. (Healing Our Painful Emotions.) This group is open to EVERYONE in the community (over 18 yrs of age) who has experienced any type of loss. We meet the 2nd Wednesday of each month from 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Villa. Come join us for sharing, handouts, refreshments and music at each session. If you have any questions or you want to RSVP call 630-317-3300. While on the subject of Family Centered Hospice, the volunteer coordinators, Carole and Peggy are looking for compassionate care volunteers and if you are interested please know that the training would be conveniently located at the Villa. Today I was talking with the lady of the house who is a sister in Christ and she is caring for her dying aunt. We were discussing her aunt's simple faith along with all her "I don't knows and we'll see" remarks. This niece brought to my attention what St. Therese of Lisieux wrote, "I told you once how it puzzled me that God did not give everyone the same amount of glory in Heaven, and I feared they could not all be happy. You sent me off to fetch one of Father's big glasses and made me put my little thimble by the side of it; then you filled them both up with water and asked me which I thought was the fuller. I had to admit that one was just as full as the other because neither of

Bitz contd. them could hold any more. That was the way you helped me to grasp how it was that in Heaven that the least have no cause to envy the greatest." This passage helped me understand that our spiritual capacities vary within each of our souls. The important part is not our ability or our size but that we are completely filled to the brim. We love God and are spirit filled to the rim of our full potential. Lastly, I thank God for the amazing friendships and loving support that is synonymous with the Villa Community. Recently my best friend, Crista, died. (Feb. 12, 1958 to April 30, 2011) She is the one who taught me that unconditional love is possible. I mentioned this loss to a brother in Christ. He told me that if I thought about it a little longer I'd know that I didn't really lose my "best friend" because my best friend is Jesus. Two things are now certain - Crista is at peace and Jesus is my new best friend. Amen. Written by Laurie Spitzig

From Fr. John Some people Try to turn back their odometers. Not me! I want people to know 'why' I look this way. I've traveled a long way And some of the roads weren't paved.

Submissions or Announcements Please email your announcements to me by September 15th. My sincere thanks to everyone who contributes to the Villa Voice. Diane Anderson villavoicenewsletter@yahoo.com www.villadesiderata.com

Villa Voice Newsletter July/Aug/Sept 2011  

The Villa Voice Newsletter of the Villa Desiderata Retreat Center

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