By Sherri Weil
Blessed with a picture perfect day, Jesuit Fathers Bill Watters, SJ, Don Pantle, SJ, John Lange, SJ, and three dozen friends of the Maryland Province, boarded a bus from the Province Office parking lot at 7:30 am on Tuesday June 14 just north of Baltimore. The destination – St. Ignatius Church in Chapel Point, Port Tobacco, Maryland for an inspirational Day of Prayer.
The Maryland Province Jesuits’ Advancement Office plans annual outings for friends and donors of the Province to southern Maryland for spiritual renewal and a deeper understanding of the history of the Society of Jesus in America.
After picking up some more friends at Sacred Heart Church in Bowie, Maryland, Fathers Pantle and Lange led the group in praying the decades of the Luminous mysteries of the rosary. Fr. Thomas Clifford, SJ, Pastor of St. Ignatius, welcomed everyone and ushered them to the parish hall for refreshments.
The day began with Fr. Watters’ presentation of mercy, the theme for the day. Quoting Luke 6:46, he described mercy as the foundation of the Catholic Church, as both a bridge and the heart of our spiritual lives. In his reflections on Pope Francis’ declaration of the Year of Mercy, he described the conversion of heart, mind and action through the spiritual and corporal works of mercy.
This theme of mercy was weaved throughout the day’s offerings, including directed contemplations, one on the Good Samaritan and one on the Prodigal Son. The sacrament of Reconciliation was also offered by our Jesuits.
Just before a picnic lunch on the beautiful grounds of St. Thomas Manor overlooking the Potomac river, Mass was concelebrated with Fr. Watters, Fr. Pantle and Fr. Joe Doyle, SSJ.
Fr. Clifford concluded the day’s program with a history lesson of St. Ignatius Church. Joking that he could talk for five hours on the subject, he kept to the key points. You can find out more information on the history of St. Ignatius Chapel Point, the oldest, continuous-use Catholic Church in America by clicking here.
Inspirational music on the bus ride home provided by Fr. Frank Kaminski, SJ, was the perfect close to the day – a very blessed day – a day of mercy.