Loading
Arizona hermitage to foster deep prayer, priestly renewal
Fr. Eugene Florea stands in front of the newly built hermitages. Credit: J.D. Long-Garcia/Catholic Sun.
Fr. Eugene Florea stands in front of the newly built hermitages. Credit: J.D. Long-Garcia/Catholic Sun.
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted of Phoenix has established a local house of prayer for priests, where they can come for solitude with Christ and renew themselves for their ministry to the people of God.

Merciful Heart Hermitage is “a place of prayer for priests....to be drawn into Jesus' own heart, and through his heart coming into deep relationship with the Father and the Father's heart,” director Father Eugene Florea, director of the hermitage, told CNA June 19.

“As priests are renewed here, and more deeply united to the heart of Christ, then they're able to go back into their ministry more deeply united to the heart of Christ to bring to the people of God, the Father's love and mercy in a deeper way.”

Merciful Heart was established on May 21, and was named for it's mission to draw priests into the hearts of Christ and God the Father.

The hermitage “has been used” already, Fr. Florea said, and has drawn interests not only from the priests of Phoenix, but those “from different parts of the country.”

The facility consists of a central chapel, with four hermitages, or poustinia, where retreatants can stay in solitude. Each poustinia has its own kitchenette, The Catholic Sun reported June 12; that way, priests are able to maintain quiet and separation as much as possible.

“There's also a main house, with some extra rooms if necessary, but really the central part of the retreat experience would be in those poustinia,” said Fr. Florea.

The hermitage is located in Black Canyon City, just 47 miles north of the center of the Phoenix metro area, where many of the diocese's priests are assigned.

The site was formerly the home of the Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration of Our Lady of Solitude Monastery, who now have a new location to the west of Phoenix.

“Jesus himself said to the apostles, 'come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest awhile,' and this place kind of answers that need,” Fr. Florea reflected.

The need, he said, “to be renewed in prayer, to be in conversation with the Father, and really be more rooted in that way as beloved sons of the Father, and let all of our ministry flow from that identity.”

On a limited number of occasions each year, the priest will offer some directed retreats in the Ignatian tradition, “so in that case they would meet daily for spiritual direction during that retreat.”

These directed retreats will be a five to eight day experience of the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuits, which were composed to help retreatants choose to live for Christ and meditate on his life.

Fr. Florea was introduced to Ignatian spirituality at the Institute for Priestly Formation in Omaha, Nebraska, noting that he “went through their training program in spiritual direction for diocesan priests.”

A pastor of the Phoenix diocese, Fr. Florea said he “sensed a call to a deeper contemplative life.”

“I brought that sense of a call to Bishop Olmsted, and he asked if I might be able to live that call out in such a way that I could live at this facility and welcome other priests who want to come and pray...and receive spiritual direction and retreat.”

Bishop Olmsted wanted somewhere for his priests to be able to spend in prayer and solitude on monthly “desert days,” or days of recollection.

“Priests are free to come and just be on their own in solitude...some might want to receive spiritual direction,” Fr. Florea explained, or the sacrament of confession.“Others might want to come for a longer time of retreat,” he said, and “they might meet with me at some point during their stay.”

Fr. Florea thinks the hermitage is “going to be a great blessing for the Church.”

“I really see it as being so needed, and I think it'll help contribute in a small way to the renewal of the priesthood.”

Tags: Prayer, Priesthood, Church in America

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day
Missionary of Charity, Korea
Testimony of Christian Love during Pope's Visit to Korea
Religious Sisters in South Korea react to Pope Francis kissing a baby
Warm atmosphere during Holy Mass at Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Images inside Pope Francis flight to South Korea
The tombs of the early Christians
Missionaries of Africa, called "the White Fathers"
Italian youth give testimony after mission to Peru
Interview with Iraqi Ambassador to the Holy See on the persecution of Christians
New book 'The Vatican unknown'
Oct
23

Liturgical Calendar

October 23, 2014

Thursday of the Twenty-Ninth Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Lk 12:49-53

Gospel
Date
10/23/14
10/22/14
10/21/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Eph 3:14-21
Gospel:: Lk 12: 49-53

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »

Saint
Date
10/23/14

Homily of the Day

Lk 12:49-53

Homily
Date
10/23/14
10/22/14
10/21/14