Parish Missions, Retreats for Clergy and Religious,
Spirituality Workshops for All
When the grammar school principal was looking for me, Sister Seraphim, my second grade teacher, replied, “Just look for a group of students. Wherever two or three are gathered, Albert is preaching in their midst.” I must have been a tad bit precocious.
As chaplain and retreat team member at Cedarbrake Catholic Retreat Center, Temple TX, I preach weekend retreats as well as days of recollection both at the retreat center and in local parishes. I also preach parish missions both inside and outside the diocese of Austin. My approach to parish missions is a no-brainer: I preach all the weekend liturgies to introduce the theme of the parish mission. I preach a three-night parish mission geared exclusively to adults. Each evening is centered around a Liturgy of the Word and a 45-minute homily. The service lasts exactly one hour.
I also preach retreats and give workshops to priests, permanent deacons, cloistered nuns and religious sisters.
Courses and Workshops
In the past, I have taught courses and offered workshops on the spiritual teachings of great figures and movements in the history of Christian spirituality. Recently, I have begun to focus my teaching on important and critical topics in the spiritual lives of ordinary people.
Some of these topics include:
The Spiritual Journey: A Process of Transformation
Defining Your Personal Spirituality: 15 Building Blocks
The True Self: 10 Characteristics of Who God Calls Us to Be
The False Self: The Lie and Illusion of the 8 Empty “P’s”
Growth in Freedom: Breaking Free From the Slavery to the False Self’s Agenda
Images of God: The Key to Healthy and Unhealthy Spiritual Growth
The Challenge of the Ego: How We Ease God Out of Our Lives
Making Sense of Suffering: Surviving in the Midst of the Storm
Forgiveness: The Revolutionary Challenge of Jesus
The Examen: Rummaging for God in Daily Life
Resisting Temptations: “It’s Only the Devil!”
Seven Principles of Prayer: A Heart-to-Heart Conversation
Lectio Divina: Praying with Scripture and Works of Art
Present to the Presence: The Prayer of Awareness
Living in the Present Moment: A Sacrament and Ambassador
Discernment: Listening to Your Life
Discernment II: A Wise Decision or God’s Will?
Dryness, Darkness, Desolation, Depression: Navigating the Spiritual “D’s”
The Attitude of Gratitude:The Best Get-Rich-Quick Scheme
The Heart of the Spiritual Life: From Self-Reflection to Self-Emptying
I have offered these topics as a Workshop on Spirituality to various groups of people including laity, post-RCIA Mystagogia groups, religious and clergy.
A Companion on the Journey
Spiritual Direction has had a long and esteemed history within Christianity. Despite its name, it is not one person “directing” another person in what to do. Rather, it is a dialogue in which a person discovers and discusses with the director the action of God’s Spirit in one’s life. The director is privileged to act as a companion and facilitator in that process.
A person commits to spiritual direction to learn how to be attentive to God’s grace in life; to grow in awareness of God’s grace; to explore what obstructs one’s attention to God’s grace; to name and honor near occasions of grace in one’s life; to find the grace offered in loss, grief, anger or fear; to attend to God’s grace in a moment of change or transition; to make an important decision in light of God’s grace.
I have taught the Advanced Seminar on Spiritual Direction in the Doctor of Ministry program at Catholic Theological Union, Chicago, IL. For eight years, I led a 2-year training program for spiritual directors in Peoria IL and at the Chiara Center in Springfield, IL. I am currently part of the spiritual director training team at Cedarbrake Catholic Retreat Center, Temple TX, where I occasionally offer continuing education programs specifically for spiritual directors.