The Serra Club of Erie held a retreat for all members on November 13, 2021. The retreat was held at Our Lady of Peace beginning with their 8:00am Mass. The Mass and retreat were held on the feast day of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini Patroness of Immigrants. Therefore, Rev. Mark Hoffman, the Mass Celebrant, gave a sermon focused on hospitality and welcoming.
Following the Mass, retreat attendees gathered in the OLP social room for a talk and reflection lead by Fr. Michael Kesicki. The discussion topic was Reflections on Purpose. Fr. Kesicki explained that each of us has a purpose (what I’m called to do) from God. He suggested the Serrans ask themselves, “how might we discern, accept, and live out this purpose?” Fr. Kesicki provided each of the 16 participants with a copy of, “The Decalogue of Pope John XXIII.” The Decalogue lists ten spiritual goals “only for today,” that everyone is encouraged to incorporate into their daily routine.
Pope John XXIII was known for journaling and using his personal writings to reflect on his progress in spiritual life and to set goals for himself. Pope John XXIII is quoted as saying, “Every believer in this world must be a spark of light, a core of love, life-giving leaven in the mass: and the more he is so, the more he will live in his innermost depths, in communion with God.”
The Decalogue of Pope John XXIII
Only for today, I will seek to live the livelong day positively without wishing to solve the problems of my life all at once.
Only for today, I will take the greatest care of my appearance; I will dress modestly; I will not raise my voice; I will be courteous in my behavior; I will not criticize anyone; I will not claim to improve or to discipline anyone except myself.
Only for today, I will be happy in the certainty that I was created to be happy, not only in the other world but also in this one.
Only for today, I will adapt to circumstances, without requiring all circumstances to be adapted to my own wishes.
Only for today, I will devote ten minutes of my time to some good reading, remembering that just as food is necessary to the life of the body, so good reading is necessary to the life of the soul.
Only for today, I will do one good deed and not tell anyone about it.
Only for today, I will do at least one thing I do not like doing; and if my feelings are hurt, I will make sure that no one notices.
Only for today, I will make a plan for myself; I may not follow it to the letter, but I will make it. And I will be on guard against two evils: hastiness and indecision.
Only for today, I will firmly believe, despite appearances, that the good providence of God cares for me as no one else who exists in this world.
Only for today, I will have no fears. In particular, I will not be afraid to enjoy what is beautiful and to believe in goodness. Indeed, for twelve hours I can certainly do what might cause me consternation were I to believe I had to do it all my life.