Module 5

Retreat #2:  The Church as Field Hospital: Receiving and Administering Mercy

From the New Ratio Fundamentalis:

“The fundamental idea is that Seminaries should form missionary disciples who are ‘in love’ with the Master, shepherds ‘with the smell of the sheep’, who live in their midst to bring the mercy of God to them” (Intro. 3).

“The priest is … called to form himself so that his heart and his life are conformed to the Lord Jesus, in this way becoming a sign of the love God has for each person” (#40).

“In this ongoing path of discernment, the priest will learn how to interpret and understand his own motivations, his gifts, his needs and his frailties, so as to ‘free himself from all disordered affections and, having removed them, to seek out and find the will of God in the ordering of his life with a view to the salvation of the soul’ (Spiritual Exercises, #1)” (#43).

“Regular and frequent celebration of the sacrament of Penance … becomes, for the seminarian, an occasion to recognize with humility his own frailties and sins and, above all, to understand and experience the joy of feeling loved and forgiven by the Lord” (#106).

“The first quality that characterizes Christ as true High Priest is his singular closeness both to God and to humanity. Christ, who is full of mercy, is the Priest who is ‘holy, innocent and undefiled’ (cf. Heb 7:26) who, having offered himself ‘with loud cries and tears’ (5:7), ‘is able to deal patiently’ (5:2) with our every weakness, and becomes ‘the source of eternal salvation for all those who obey him’ (5:9)” (#36).


  • Bishop Robert Gruss, D.D., Bishop of Saginaw, MI
  • Fr. John Horn, S.J., D.Min., Faculty, St. Vincent de Paul Seminary, FL

Main Points:

  • Witnessing to the power of mercy and living in freedom as children of God
  • Appropriation of St. Ignatius’s “Rules for the Discernment of Spirits”
  • Renewing the Sacrament of Penance

Dates:  June 18 – 25, 2023 (Sunday night through Saturday morning)