On January 3 the abbey welcomed 13 bishops from Region Nine (Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, and Missouri) for their annual retreat. Some of them have been coming to Prince of Peace Abbey for almost 20 years. Although they come to receive spiritual nourishment, a beneficial side effect is the weather. We understand that the temperature in their dioceses plummeted below zero with very dangerous wind-chill factors.
Among those attending were; Archbishops Curtiss, Emeritus of Omaha, Naumann from Kansas City, and Lucas of Omaha, also Bishops Gaydos of Jefferson City, MO, Dendinger of Grand Island, NE, Brungardt of Dodge City, KS, Johnston of Springfield-Cape Gerardeau, MO, Conley of Lincoln, NE, Amos of Davenport, IA, Milone, Emeritus of Great Falls-Billings, MT, Rice of St. Louis, MO, Leibrecht, Emeritus of Springfield-Cape Girardeau, MO, and Nickless of Sioux City, IA.
The bishops were privileged to have His Eminence, Justin Cardinal Rigali, conduct the retreat. Cardinal Rigali has a brother who is a Jesuit who is presently the chaplain at the Vina de Lestonnac Ministry Center in Temecula. They had a chance to meet here at the abbey for several hours.
The retreat will end with a festive meal at which the bishops will join the monks in their refectory on Thursday evening. Departure is scheduled for Friday morning when our honored guests will be taken to the airport in San Diego for their return journeys of their respective dioceses.
It is always a joy to have such an august gathering here each year when the monks are given a chance to practice hospitality, for which Benedictines are noted.
May the bishops all reach their destinations safely, refreshed by The Holy Spirit in their faith, and with a desire to return next year to Oceanside.