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.
I am a full-time itinerant preacher. I travel across the country offering parish missions, days of recollection, spirituality workshops, and retreats for priests, permanent deacons, cloistered nuns and monks, and religious sisters. 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.
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 twelve years, I led a 2-year training program for spiritual directors in Peoria IL, at the former Chiara Center in Springfield IL, and at Cedarbrake Catholic Retreat Center, Temple TX. I occasionally offer continuing education programs specifically for spiritual directors. I currently offer spiritual direction both in person and virtually via ZOOM from San Miguel Friary, San Antonio TX.