From Sunday, March 4, through Tuesday, March 6, 2012, a small group of Irish priests gathered at the Adare Manor in County Limerick for the first Priestly Renewal Program conducted by The Christopher Inn International. These priests were sponsored by Catholics in the U.S. as a gift of gratitude for the ministry of Irish clergy in the U.S. throughout the centuries.
The program gave priests an opportunity to come together for prayer (Liturgy of the Hours, Benediction, and Mass), study, and priestly fraternity, all in a very beautiful setting. The topic of the seminar was a recently-released document from the Congregation for the Clergy entitled The Priest, Minister of Divine Mercy. Fr. D Vincent Twomey, SVD, facilitated the seminar.
At the end of the final session, the priests commented on their experience at The Christopher Inn International and shared their thoughts with the team:
"There's no ideology, just generosity."
"This was superb! Absolutely superb!"
"How wonderful that there is a family at the heart of this. It is like a home, not an institution."
"It was a wonderful couple of days spent in fraternity.... For me as a priest our few days spent together was a time of reflection, rest and fraternity... something I think all priests need from time to time."
Again and again, the priests thanked the team and asked us to thank those who sponsored them. One priest later summarized in an email what they all shared with us:
Renewed thanks to yourself, your family and benefactors for our wonderful time together at Adare. Please be assured that your very good self, your family and all benefactors are remembered in my prayers and Masses. I believe the work the Lord has entrusted to you is very necessary.
Another priest wrote:
I wish to thank you sincerely and all connected with the Christopher Inn movement for giving me the opportunity to spend three days in Adare Manor. It was a truly memorable experience. What struck me was how much the whole operation is inspired by the faith and generosity of so many faithful Catholics in the U.S. May the Lord continue to shower his choicest blessings on all involved in this inspiring project.
It was exciting for the team of CI International to hear the priests confirm so many details of this apostolate's mission and vision.
To all of our benefactors, who have supported our apostolate with prayer, sacrifice and financial contributions: Thank you for responding to Our Lord's call to support our priests in such a generous manner.