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Bridge to Eternity: Retreat Guide on Sacrament of Holy Orders

April 30, 2015 by  
Filed under Fr. Bartunek, Holy Orders, Retreat Guides, Vocations

BRIDGE TO ETERNITY: A RETREAT GUIDE ON THE SACRAMENT OF HOLY ORDERS

Bridge to Eternity - Retreat Guide on Sacrament of Holy Orders

The newest Retreat Guide from RC Spirituality, Bridge to Eternity: A Retreat Guide on the Sacrament of Holy Orders, is now available at www.RCSpirituality.org.

For many years, my religious order followed a tradition of ordaining our members to the priesthood on Christmas Eve. I remember preparing for my own ordination: eight days of silent retreat full of prayer and penance as Christmas approached; and then, on Christmas Eve, becoming a priest of Jesus Christ for all eternity. It’s hard to forget an experience like that.

But why schedule priestly ordinations for Christmas Eve? Why not choose a date more convenient for families traveling to celebrate their sons’ ordinations? What’s the point of piling such an important celebration onto a day that is already overflowing with liturgical significance?

It’s all about the symbolism. The sacrament of Holy Orders, instituted by Jesus himself, is meant to be an extension throughout history of Christ’s own incarnation, of his priestly mission to this fallen world, which begins to shine out with the birth of the Savior in Bethlehem on Christmas night. In a sense, every ordination truly is another Bethlehem: the birth of a messenger and bearer of God’s saving grace into a world needing redemption.

Bridge to Eternity: A Retreat Guide on the Sacrament of Holy Orders, will explore this mysterious reality.

  • In the first meditation, we will prayerfully reflect on God’s vision for the Holy Orders of deacon, priest, and bishop.
  • In the second meditation, we will look at how Jesus the Good Shepherd is the model of every priest.
  • And in the conference, we will examine some of the reasons behind the discipline of priestly celibacy.
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About Fr. John Bartunek, LC

Fr. John Bartunek, LC, S.Th.D, received his BA in History from Stanford University in 1990. He comes from an evangelical Christian background and became a member of the Catholic Church in 1991. After college, he worked as a high school history teacher, drama director, and baseball coach. He then spent a year as a professional actor in Chicago before entering the religious Congregation of the Legionaries of Christ in 1993. He was ordained a Catholic priest in 2003 and earned his doctorate in moral theology in 2010. He provided spiritual support on the set of Mel Gibson’s "The Passion of the Christ" while researching the 2005 Catholic best seller, "Inside the Passion"--the only authorized, behind-the-scene explanation of the film. Fr. John has contributed news commentary regarding religious issues on NBC, CNN, Fox, and the BBC. He also served as the English-language press liaison for the Vatican’s 2005 Synod of Bishops on the Eucharist. His most widely known book is called: "The Better Part: A Christ-Centered Resource for Personal Prayer". His most recent books are "Spring Meditations", "Seeking First the Kingdom: 30 Meditations on How to Love God with All Your Heart, Soul, Mind and Strength", and "Answers: Catholic Advice for Your Spiritual Questions". Fr. John currently splits his time between Michigan (where he continues his writing apostolate and serves as a confessor and spiritual director at the Queen of the Family Retreat Center) and Rome, where he teaches theology at Regina Apostolorum. His online, do-it-yourself retreats are available at RCSpirituality.org, and he answers questions about the spiritual life at SpiritualDirection.com.

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