crown of thorns, BSP symbol. We are committed to living the Franciscan Rule of 12212004 Retreat for
The Brothers and Sisters of Penance of St. Francis
July 30 - August 1, 2004, Prior Lake, MN

Dear Members and Friends,

     We were very blessed and honored this year by the presence of Archbishop Harry Flynn, Fr. Valerius Messerich OFM and our retreat master, Fr. Robert Altier, making this what many remarked was the best retreat ever. One attending member, Ray Metzger, said it was the best retreat he has attended in 55 years of attending retreats.

     The theme of the retreat was penance while focusing on the spiritual life. No business meetings of any kind were held during this years retreat so that all time could be devoted to spiritual growth.

     Archbishop Harry J. Flynn honored us by celebrating Saturday Evening Mass for us. In his homily he spoke of the love of the Lord for all of his people. He encouraged us to persist in our efforts to grow in holiness and commended those present for creating and building the Franciscan Community of our Association and bringing each other together during this retreat. He also brought applause with his complimentary comments regarding Fr. Valerius Messerich O.F.M., who has been spiritual director of the Association since its origins in 1991. He called the Brothers and Sisters of Penance of St. Francis the "most Franciscan" community in the diocese although we are not part of the Franciscan Order. Our sincere gratitude to Archbishop Flynn!

     Fr. Robert Altier, always renowned for the depth and beauty of his preaching in the diocese, honored us by becoming our retreat master and was available for reconciliation between presentations. He delivered three talks on the "Call to Penance", and introduced all to the depth, beauty, and importance of living lives of continual prayer and penance, totally for Jesus. Click on the following links to read Fr. Altier's talks:

Tapes of Fr. Altier's talks are also available; please email or call us for details.

     Fr. Valerius Messerich O.F.M. celebrated Sunday Mass and availed himself throughout the retreat for spiritual direction, reconciliation and visitation. Thank you Fr. Val! Pictures of those present at the retreat are shown in this album.

     Next year the retreat is planned for the last weekend in July as it was this year, again at Franciscan Retreats in Prior Lake, Minnesota.

Bruce and Shelley Fahey BSP

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