By Barb Arland-Fye
Anticipating the new liturgical year that begins with Advent and focuses on Luke’s Gospel, spiritual director/retreat leader Helen Schiltz invites people of faith to a morning of reflection on Luke. The retreat takes place from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Nov. 21, at the Humility of Mary Center in Davenport.
“I think it’s a good idea for all of us before Advent to get some idea of what the new (liturgical year’s) Gospel is about and how it’s different from the last one,” said Schiltz, a graduate of the St. Aquinas Institute in St. Louis. “We will consider the Gospel as a whole, its authorship and background, and highlight passages and themes unique to Luke,” she added. The new liturgical year begins the first Sunday in Advent, Nov. 29.
“We encourage people from parishes or those interested in liturgy to come for the morning and to bring their Bible,” says Sister Joann Kuebrich of the Congregation of the Humility of Mary. The Sisters were eager to help Schiltz establish herself in the diocese as a spiritual director and retreat leader.
Delving into the history, culture and traditions of the time during which Luke’s Gospel was written will help participants get a better understanding of the Gospel and the writer, Schiltz said. She uses a personal experience to illustrate her point.
“My mom died last spring. Among her things I found a letter her father had written to her. It was written in pencil, with no punctuation. He addressed the letter, ‘Dear Sis.’ You’d have thought he was one of her students, but I know it was my grandfather. I know that from other family members’ stories. I knew he called her Sis. As far as I know, it may be the only letter he wrote to her. I personally think I have a treasure.”
With that background information from family stories, and the letter itself, Schiltz gained deeper insight into her grandfather, just as she hopes participants will gain deeper insight into Luke’s Gospel.
She hopes to have time to finish the retreat with a short service of prayer for the liturgical year.
To register for the day of reflection, call (563) 323-9466 or send your name, phone number and payment to Humility of Mary Center, 820 W. Central Park Ave., 52804-1900. Participants are welcome to join the Sisters for lunch. Cost for the day is $15, which includes lunch.