Our Lady of Good Counsel Retreat House

7303 N 112th St
Waverly NE 68462
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Retreat House News

June 2015
Retreat House Interior In this Issue:
Fortnight for Freedom
New Schedule of Retreats Online
Introducing Fr. Jacques Philippe
Women's Retreat with Fr. Courtney
Year for Consecrated Life
Upcoming 'Year of Mercy'

For over 50 years Our Lady of Good Counsel Retreat House has provided a peaceful atmosphere of prayer and recollection, situated on a spacious acreage near Waverly, Nebraska. The facility includes fifty single rooms, each with a private bath. Each retreat includes meditations by the retreat master, and opportunities for silence, prayer, adoration and the Sacraments. Retreats typically begin with a Rosary and Mass at 8:00 PM on Friday evening, and end with Mass and lunch on Sunday.

All retreatants are considered part of the Good Counsel Retreat House "family". Each month, a Mass is offered for all current and past retreatants, and for the success of our retreats. To become a member of our family, you simply need to come on retreat. We also ask your prayers and support so that we can continue our mission to enrich people's spiritual lives through meaningful retreat experiences. We hope you can join our spiritual family: decide to make a retreat with us this year and share in the many benefits. Please be sure to promote the Retreat House to others, and bring a friend.

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Fortnight for Freedom: Freedom to Bear Witness

The Fourth of July, like other national holidays, is not a specifically religious feast. Yet it should be an occasion for us to be thankful to almighty God for the country we live in, and call to mind the Christian roots of America, and the liberty we so cherish. Religious freedom is a cornerstone of the American experience. It's worth recalling that nearly all the American founders saw religious faith as vital to the life of a free people. Liberty and happiness grow out of virtue. And virtue needs grounding in religious faith.

The Fortnight for Freedom: Freedom to Bear Witness will take place from June 21 to July 4, 2015, a time when our liturgical calendar celebrates a series of great martyrs who remained faithful in the face of persecution by political power: St. Thomas More and St. John Fisher, St. John the Baptist, SS. Peter and Paul, and the First Martyrs of the Church of Rome. The theme of this year's Fortnight will focus on the "freedom to bear witness" to the truth of the Gospel.

The U.S. Bishops ask us to join in prayer and action at a time when our most cherished freedom is under attack. Threats against religious freedom in our country are not imaginary. They're happening right now. They're immediate, serious, and real. Unless we work hard to keep our religious liberty, we'll lose it.

New Schedule of Retreats is Published Online

Fr Thomlison Fr Kilcawley Fr Scholl

Good Counsel Retreat House is pleased to announce that Registration for 2015-2016 Retreats is now open.

See the full schedule of retreats, and register online, at our website: www.goodcounselretreat.com; email goodcounsel@cdolinc.net or call 402-786-2705.

We are blessed to have such great retreat masters, who generously give their time and talent in leading retreats. A number will be returning this fall, such as: Fr. Courtney, Fr. Scholl, Fr. Kilcawley, and Fr. Thomlison.

We also want to introduce some of our new retreat masters this fall: Fr. Thomas Schultes—Parochial Vicar at St Patrick, McCook; Fr. Andrew Heaslip—Director of Religious Education, in residence at St Mary, Lincoln; and Fr. Jacques Philippe—world renowned author and retreat master (see below).

Please note that some Spring 2016 retreats are still 'To be announced' - watch the website for updates.

Fr Philippe Dec. 11-13
Men & Women
Register Now

Introducing Fr. Jacques Philippe

We are very excited to welcome the internationally known author and retreat master Fr. Jacques Philippe to give a weekend retreat for men and women Dec. 11-13, 2015 on the theme: Spiritual Poverty: Living the Beatitudes

Fr. Philippe entered the Community of the Beatitudes in France in 1976. Through his work as a spiritual director and preaching retreats, he consolidated his principal themes into books on spirituality - which have now sold over 500,000 copies in 18 languages. Visit his website "a guide for the spiritual life" at www.frjacquesphilippe.com.

Some of his best-selling and well-loved books include "Time for God", "Interior Freedom", "Searching for and Maintaining Peace" and recently "Thirsting for Prayer" and "The Way of Trust and Love - A Retreat Guided by St. Therese of Lisieux". These and more of his books are available at Amazon or your favorite Catholic bookstore.

One retreatant (who is already registered!) says: "I think Fr. Philippe has saved my life. All of my children, who live across the country, are reading and enjoying his books, and would drive several hours to hear him speak. He gives such encouragement which we need today." Open to men and women of all ages.

Fr Courtney Aug. 14-16
Register Now

Women's Retreat with Fr. Courtney: "Jesus Christ is the Face of Mercy" Aug. 14-16, 2015

For the first of our retreats this year, all women are invited to bring their bibles and open the Word of God, August 14-16, in preparation for the coming Year of Mercy (see below).

This retreat for women on the theme Jesus Christ is the Face of Mercy will be led by Fr. Scott Courtney, pastor at St. Anthony parish in Steinauer and Sacred Heart in Burchard. Ordained in 2000, Fr. Courtney's past parish assignments include St Peter in Bellwood, St Michael in Hastings, North American Martyrs and St Teresa in Lincoln.

Fr. Courtney enjoys giving retreats because he says "these retreats are an opportunity for me to love scripture more, and help others to do the same." He says this retreat will be an important opportunity so we can respond to the words of Jesus: "Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." (Matthew 11:25-30). Open to women of all ages.

What Does the 'Year of Consecrated Life' Mean for Me?

Pope Francis

We are in a Year for Consecrated Life, called by Pope Francis from November 2014 until February 2016. He says that the goals of the Year is "to look to the past with gratitude... to live the present with passion... and to embrace the future with hope." Yet what does this special Year mean for us who are not Religious - those who have not consecrated their lives by vows of chastity, poverty, and obedience? Pope Francis responds:

The question we have to ask ourselves during this Year is if and how we too are open to being challenged by the Gospel; whether the Gospel is truly the "manual" for our daily living and the decisions we are called to make. The Gospel is demanding: it demands to be lived radically and sincerely. It is not enough to read it (even though the reading and study of Scripture is essential), nor is it enough to meditate on it (which we do joyfully each day). Jesus asks us to practice it, to put his words into effect in our lives.
Once again, we have to ask ourselves: Is Jesus really our first and only love?

All are invited to a Sunday Mass in Celebration of the Year of Consecrated Life with Bishop Conley: August 9, 2015, 3 PM at St. Cecilia Church in Hastings, with a 'Meet the Sisters' reception following.

Pope Francis has Proclaimed a Year of Mercy

Divine Mercy

Pope Francis has proclaimed an upcomming Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy as a special time for the Church, a Holy Year the will open on December 8, 2015, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, and will close with the Solemnity of Christ the King on November 20, 2016. He says, "How much I desire that the year to come will be steeped in mercy, so that we can go out to every man and woman, bringing the goodness and tenderness of God! May the balm of mercy reach everyone, both believers and those far away, as a sign that the Kingdom of God is already present in our midst!" (Misericordiae Vultus 3, Bull of Indiction)

Merciful like the Father is the "motto" of this Holy Year. In mercy, we find proof of how God loves us. He gives his entire self, always, freely, asking nothing in return. He comes to our aid whenever we call upon him. What a beautiful thing that the Church begins her daily prayer with the words, "O God, come to my assistance. O Lord, make haste to help me" (Ps 70:2)! The assistance we ask for is already the first step of God's mercy toward us. He comes to assist us in our weakness. And his help consists in helping us accept his presence and closeness to us. Day after day, touched by his compassion, we also can become compassionate towards others. (Misericordiae Vultus 14)

During the Year of Mercy, many of the retreats at Our Lady of Good Counsel Retreat House will feature themes related to this Holy Jubilee Year. See the full schedule of retreats at www.goodcounselretreat.com.

Our Lady of Good Counsel Retreat House
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