Dear OSJ Family,

Today on this Third Sunday of Easter, the Gospel reading is the well-known passage known as the “Road to Emmaus.” Emmaus, as we know, is a small town outside of Jerusalem. Today’s gospel account from Luke reports that Jesus appeared there, after his death and resurrection, to two of his disciples while they were walking on the road and that it was only in the breaking and sharing of bread that they recognized him.

The fundamental Gospel message that the Emmaus story seeks to convey is that it is not one’s destination so much as it is one’s actual journey that is most crucial in life. Thus, Emmaus represents our journey to holiness, to the very heart of God.

As we all seek to travel to greater holiness, I commend to your consideration the possibility of making a spiritual retreat this spring or summer. Retreats are a great opportunity for reflection and renewal, and are an encouraging time to “taste and see the goodness of God” in our own lives and in the beauty of the world around us. Our Jesuit Founder, Saint Ignatius Loyola, because of his formation of the Spiritual Exercises, is honored by the Church as the “Patron Saint of retreats.” So as members of the Ignatian and Jesuit Family, I invite you to give some serious thought and prayer to make a retreat and carve out some precious time to rest, renew, and to grow in your relationship with God.

Below are some Catholic Retreat Houses in the Philadelphia area that I highly recommend. Please visit their websites and again, consider visiting these holy places for an opportunity to grow closer to God, through Christ, in the Holy Spirit!

SAINT RAPHAELA CENTER-The Handmaids of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Phone: 610-642-5715 Location: 616 Coopertown Road, Haverford, PA 19041

MOTHER BONIFACE SPIRITUALITY CENTER-The Sisters of the Most Blessed Trinity. Phone: 267-350-1831 Location: 3501 Solly Avenue Phila. PA 19136

CRANALEITH SPIRITUAL CENTER-The Sisters of Mercy. Phone: 215-934-6206 Location: 13475 Proctor Road, Phila. PA 19116

DAYLESFORD ABBEY SPIRITUALITY CENTER-The Norbertines. Phone: 610-647-2530 Location: 220 S. Valley Road, Paoli, PA 19301

FRANCISCAN SPIRITUAL CENTER-The Sisters of St. Francis. Phone: 610-558-6152 Location: 609 S. Convent Road, Aston, PA 19014

MALVERN RETREAT HOUSE-Catholic Lay Leadership. Phone: 610-644-0400 Location: 315 S Warren Avenue, Malvern, PA 19355

THE JESUIT CENTER-The Society of Jesus. Phone: 610-670-364 Location: 501 N Church Road, Wernersville, PA 1956

In the Lord,

Fr Phil Florio, SJ