Fall 2015 Newsletter
Semi-Annual News from the Retreat House
Annual Giving Campaign Appeal
Dear Friends in Christ,
It’s that time of year again when the Jesuits of Montserrat call upon our friends for financial assistance during our Annual Giving Campaign. From your own experience, you know what Montserrat means to so many people, and how many lives have been transformed with God’s grace through this amazing ministry. In Fiscal Year 2014-15, we served 4,328 retreatants. When we consider that those 4,328 men and women have influenced the lives of countless others through the work of the Holy Spirit, we give thanks that God allows this ministry to flourish. We want to increase attendance from 4,328 to 5,000! This year we met 380 first timers; next year we hope to have 450 newcomers. At the same time, many of our long time friends were unable to attend because of age or health concerns; we ask your prayers for them. All in all, God was extremely generous and gracious to Montserrat.
Last year, you so generously answered our call when we set our goal at $200,000. We were able to do major renovations to St. Joseph Hall so that our guests could experience greater comfort in their stay with us. That work continues even today. You have funded retreats for those who were not able to contribute. You have supported the maintenance of the grounds. In short, you have so graciously answered the call to give.
As you know, we have an aging campus. This year, we hope to renovate St. Ignatius Chapel and the bell tower, the center of our campus. A significant portion of our Annual Giving Campaign goal of $250,000 will go towards that renovation. We must be modest in our goals, but ever mindful of the significant increase in construction costs. We have $11,000 in “seed” money for this project, but need substantially more. As you recall the graces received from prayer in the chapel, you can appreciate the work that needs to be done to truly make the chapel the heart of our campus.
Please consider helping with a donation (no matter the size). If you cannot assist us financially, continue to support us with your prayers for this valuable ministry in North Texas, and invite others to come to Montserrat Retreat House for a personal encounter with the risen Lord. We will continue to pray for you in our daily masses.
Ronald J. Boudreaux, S.J., Director
Joseph Hamaty, Director of Development
Winter and Spring Retreats 2015 - 2016
This past summer’s rains and storms caused damage to our pier and wood rot to the Crucifix at Montserrat. For the last few months, the Crucifix, a focal point of our faith and Montserrat’s entrance, is being restored and will be fixed within the next few months. Lake waters rose causing our driveway and pier to be under water. The pier has been fixed allowing retreatants to once again enjoy the beautiful sunrises overlooking Lake Lewisville. As part of the AGC, we are working diligently to renovate our aging St. Ignatius Chapel and bell tower, so we may continue to provide a space that nourishes prayer and spiritual devotion. We are responding to Pope Francis’ call in Laudato Si to update air conditioning units, windows, and plumbing mechanisms in St. Joseph Hall for energy conservation purposes, which will allow us to cut operation costs.
The Mission of Montserrat Retreat House is to bring the transforming Good News of Jesus Christ to individuals and society.
- Our work is anchored in and grows from the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius. We realize our mission primarily by offering silent retreats. This experience, culturally and ecumenically sensitive, helps establish and sustain the spiritual life of men and women.
- Montserrat's mission is also realized in the work of the St Edmund Campion Jesuit Spirituality Center which offers programs and retreat workshops for the serious disciple, and those working in ministries in the church.
- We make the facilities and services available to the local churches for use by groups of Catholics and those of other faiths.
The Gift of Friendship by Fr. John Payne, S.J.
For nearly 13 years prior to coming to Montserrat Retreat House, I served as the “minister to priests,” aka, spiritual director for the priests in the Diocese of Austin. At the time, there were no other Jesuits ministering in the diocese. A Jesuit friend once said of me that I was “the only Jesuit who goes to visit people to play with their dog.” Wanting a companion, I finally got my own through the generosity of good friends. Dude was 8 weeks old and fit in the palm of one hand. We constituted the Jesuit community in Austin for 8 yrs. As a team, we were constantly together. We felt welcomed anywhere that did not post a sign stating, “No Jesuits or Dogs Allowed.”
Dude, with his charismatic personality, did the impossible...he made me popular. He beguiled others who had to deal with me to spend time with him. He put up well with my eccentricity. When I yelled at my computer in frustration, he also barked at it.
After we came to Montserrat three years ago, we adjusted to life with others in community. Dude found a treasure of support, as well as attention from retreatants, and he even assumed the work of the Holy Spirit by attempting to include and keep everyone in communion here. Often, after someone met him and was leaving, he barked ferociously because he thought that once that relationship was formed that it should endure. He seemed to want everyone who became a part of his network of affection to stay with him forever.
Due to many ailments, including blindness and deafness, Dude’s faithful and caring vet, Dr. Jeffery Ellis, informed me that there was no hope of reversing either of those afflictions. Dude also began to have severe reactions to the summer heat of Texas and to suffer intently from a kidney malfunction. The only relief for him and a terribly hard decision for me was to have him put to sleep. With the support of Dude’s admirers and a caring vet, we buried him before the statue of St. Francis which stands between two oak trees in front of the library. Father Mark Thibodeaux read the passage from Wisdom 11:27 “You spare all things because all things are yours, Lord, lover of life, You whose imperishable spirit is in all.” Father Anthony Borrow read a moving poem from an Anglican bishop telling of the way a dog teaches us about relating to our good God. Mrs. Jackie Shaw prayed the prayer “A Prayer for Our Earth,” and all us of prayed the prayer, “A Christian Prayer in Union With Creation.” Both are found at the end of Pope Francis’ encyclical, Laudato Si.
Dude was an inestimable gift from God,
endless forgiveness—especially for me,
the most gentle kindness,
unconditional love and
the embodiment of fierce determination—some would say pug stubbornness.
Revenue from Retreats
Sharing Ignatian Spirituality by Fr. Anthony Borrow, S.J.
Having been guided by the Holy Spirit in prayer over many years, St. Ignatius discovered a method of prayer that enabled him to order the various affections in his life and thus better discern God's will. Ignatius wrote down this method of prayer which became the Spiritual Exercises. The Spiritual Exercises help one to grow in knowing and loving Jesus more deeply. Ignatius quickly recognized that this gift was given to him so that it could be shared with others. Ignatius thus began sharing the Spiritual Exercises with his closest friends. As a result, he found that those friendships also grew deeper and ultimately led these friends in the Lord to form the Society of Jesus.
As a Jesuit, I have experienced the profound impact of the Spiritual Exercises. Quite simply, I fell in love with the Spiritual Exercises and their ability to foster a deeply personal relationship with Jesus. Fr. Pedro Arrupe reminds us that falling in love changes everything. “What you are in love with, what seizes your imagination, will affect everything. It will decide what will get you out of bed in the morning, what you do with your evenings, how you spend your weekends, what you read, whom you know, what breaks your heart, and what amazes you with joy and gratitude”. My greatest joys come from witnessing how the Lord works directly with people, calls them into friendship, and invites them to labor with Christ in building the Kingdom.
In July, I accepted the Society of Jesus' mission to continue the work of sharing the gift of the Spiritual Exercises and Ignatian Spirituality by coming to Montserrat Retreat House. This mission is an opportunity to continue the work that St. Ignatius began back in the 16th century to help others better order their lives, to share with them a way of deepening their personal relationship with Jesus, and to better discern how to live as committed disciples.
St. Ignatius shows us that friends share the best of what they have with others. Similarly, I hope to share the best of the gifts that I have received here with those who join us at Montserrat Retreat House to pray. I look forward to sharing my passion for the Spiritual Exercises and my love of the Lord with you and to deepen the invitation to us to grow closer to Christ and thus truly become friends in the Lord.
Montserrat and the Future
In order to meet the future demands of the mission at Montserrat Retreat House, Montserrat is furthering our relationship with The Catholic Foundation in order to start accepting legacy or planned gifts through an endowment. This is typically done through life insurance policies, retirement funds, estate planning, and other ways. This allows a person’s legacy to continue through the ministry at Montserrat. Contact Joseph Hamaty, Director of Development and Communications, at 940-321-6020 or at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Our newsletter will be mailed or emailed (if an email is on file) on a regular basis. In the spirit of Pope Francis’ call to be better stewards of the environment, please provide us your email address.