As I announced last weekend, I have been at a conference this past week. But what was it?
For the last couple of years I have been part of an ongoing spiritual director-training program for priests. A group called the “Institute of Priestly Formation” or IPF runs the program, based out of Omaha, NE. But while IPF is in Omaha, the program I am doing is hosted at Mundelein Seminary in Mundelein, IL.
Thus, for three weeks out of the year (a week in April, one in October and a week in January), I go to Mundelein for this program.
Perhaps, even more than teaching me “skills” of how to be a spiritual director, its major focus is how do we – as busy parish priests – cultivate a deep intimate relationship with the Lord and focusing on how we ground our identity as priests in that relationship. And from that identity that flows from our relationship, then flows our mission.
Relationship ” Identity ” Mission.
Therefore, it has been a huge benefit to my own priesthood to be a part of this program, and to step back three times a year to re-focus on my identity as a priest, and going deep in relationship with the One to whom I’ve committed my life.
It has helped me in my identity as a priest, and thus, to better live into and serve as a spiritual father for you all.
I am, by no means, a perfect father (the program reminds me of that too), but that’s why I have to keep returning to the one who is the true Father, to abide in relationship with God the Father, and live and serve out of that abiding relationship of love.
And it makes me a better father to you.
Keep praying for me, that I may ever more fully be that for you!
I pray for you all!
Peace and God Bless,
– Fr. Kevin