By Kevin Kelley
“Being Catholic in the 21st Century: What Really Matters?” is the topic of a parish retreat taking place this week at St. Angela Merici Roman Catholic Church.
Catholics from other area parishes, as well as members of the public, are invited to come to all or any of the three days of the retreat, said the Rev. Michael Lanning, pastor of St. Angela. The talks are free, but a collection will be taken for donations.
The retreat speaker will be the Rev. Richard Sparks, C.S.P., a Paulist priest now based in San Francisco. Ordained in 1978, Sparks received a doctorate in moral theology from The Catholic University of America in 1985. According to the Paulist website, Sparks is frequently sought for consultations with health care systems and ethics committees because of his expertise in biomedical ethics.
Sparks will speak at Masses this weekend at St. Angela to preview the three-day retreat, which takes place Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Each day will have a different theme. Monday’s theme will be “Love, No Strings Attached.” Tuesday’s will be “Life Is Hard But Good,” followed by “Faith: What Makes It Worthwhile?” on Wednesday.
Those interested in hearing Sparks speak will have three opportunities each day of the retreat – 9:30 a.m. in the church’s social hall, 12:30 p.m. in the social hall and 7:30 p.m. in the church. Those attending the noontime talk are asked to bring a brown-bag lunch. Each session will last about an hour.
Lanning said the retreat by Sparks is a good way for St. Angela to mark its 90th anniversary, as well as the Roman Catholic Church’s Year of Faith. Pope Benedict XVI announced the 13-month period, which ends on Nov. 24, as a time for Catholics to rediscover the gift of faith. The opening of the Year of Faith, Oct. 11, 2012, also marked the 50th anniversary of the start of the Second Vatican Council.
For more information on the retreat, visit St. Angela Merici Church’s website at samparish.org/retreat. St. Angela Merici Roman Catholic Church is located at 20979 Lorain Road.