Tony Sperendi is a Lay Ecclesial Minister. He has worked at St. Francis Parish in Ann Arbor as the Director of Adult Faith Formation, taught theology at Fr. Gabriel Richard High School, and worked at St. Therese Parish as the director of RCIA and Adult Faith Formation. He has also served on the Diocesan Men’s Conference team, given marriage retreats, presented parish missions, Lenten and RCIA retreats and other talks and workshops.
THE LIFE OF ST. THERESE, THE LITTLE FLOWER:
A SAINT AND MESSAGE NEEDED FOR OUR TIMES
TUESDAY APRIL 10, 2018 9:00AM - 3:30PM
Final registration starts at 8:30am along with coffee and morning snacks. The retreat starts at 9:00am and goes till 3:30pm. We will have morning Mass and lunch at noon. The St. Francis Book & Gift Shop will be opened all day. Bring your Bible and your spiritual journal if you keep one. The cost is $65 or $55 for seniors 60+.
“People were bringing even infants to him that he might touch them, and when the disciples saw this, they rebuked them. Jesus, however, called the children to himself and said, ‘Let the children come to me and do not prevent them; for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Amen, I say to you, whoever does not accept the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it.’” Luke 18:15-17
Therese loved this saying of Jesus. These are such profound and mysterious words. What can they mean? Don’t we smile when we see a mother cradling her infant in her arms and the child is asleep or looking about. There is a charm about infants and toddlers that touches our heart. Jesus used this circumstance to teach us what the basis of discipleship is fundamentally about… complete and utter dependence and trust on our part to our loving God and merciful Father. And Jesus referred to God as Abba, meaning Papa. We are totally dependent on the goodness and love of God, just like a child is to its parents. Without a firm grasp and acceptance of this intimate relationship the Lord offers all of us, we waiver in fear and doubt about God’s love for us. We have a hard time loving ourselves and find it necessary to prove our worth to others. Therese was grasped by this deep reality that Jesus revealed throughout her whole life. But she didn’t have an easy life. She suffered much. But in her joys and struggles, she came to know with confidence that she was beloved of God and Jesus was her friend and her all in all! Out of this relationship came her simply profound teaching on “spiritual childhood.”
Throughout this retreat we will look at her inner life and relationship with Jesus that so transformed her to become a saint and Doctor of the Church. We will also delve into her “little way” of sacrificial love for others. She embodied the two greatest commandments Jesus taught us; to love God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength and our neighbor as our self.
The goal of this retreat is to incorporate some of these truths in our own lives. So after each presentation, there will be reflection questions and quite times to pray and meditate and allow the Lord to speak to your heart. After all, we are His children. And you know He will want to converse with you too!
This retreat is opened to all seekers and pilgrims. Whether you know nothing, a little, or more about St. Therese of Lisieux, the Little Flower, you will gain a deeper love of God, confidence in his providential care, and learn ordinary ways to love others with extraordinary divine love.