By Colleen Rowan WEST VIRGINIA—The West Virginia Knights of Columbus will once again host a Catholic Men’s Formation & Service Weekend Retreat at Bishop Hodges Pastoral Center in Huttonsville. This year’s retreat will be Oct. 19-21, and is open to all men interested in attending.
“I would like to invite all of the men in the state to join us for an opportunity to build their relationship with God through service,” said Scott Nale, state deputy of the West Virginia Knights. The retreat begins Friday at 7 p.m. with registration and a social, followed by a welcome and opening prayer at 9 p.m.
During the retreat, participants will be have the opportunity to grow in their faith while engaging in service work for the diocese. That work will be conducted on the second day of the retreat, Saturday, as participants help out at Eden Farms at the pastoral center. The farm grows and supplies food to local food banks and for others in need.
Following a dinner that evening, “Challenges to Catholic Marriage in Today’s Culture” will be presented by Rev. Mr. Robert Holliday, permanent deacon at St. Patrick Parish in Hinton and Sacred Heart Mission in Rainelle. Sunday will begin with a breakfast and an 8:30 a.m. talk by Rev. Mr. Thomas Soper, permanent deacon at St. Catherine of Siena Parish in Ronceverte and St. Charles Borromeo Parish in White Sulphur Springs. Paricipants will then gather for Mass at St. Brendan Parish in Elkins at 11 a.m. “The idea for this event came from my own spiritual journey as I always feel closer to God when I’m serving others,” Nale said. “Having the opportunity to do so in such a peaceful location is a great way to gain focus before we head into the holiday season. Being able to point to something that you have done with your own hands to help someone else, like the 1,000 pounds of potatoes collected last year, gives you a very healthy sense of satisfaction as well. All of these benefits, combined with the fellowship of spending time with other like minded men, and the teachings of our awesome deacons, have really given us a great opportunity to increase our faith.”
Steve Corley, of the Knights of Columbus Council No. 1415 in Weston, said last year’s retreat was a great fellowship experience. “I enjoyed the great team spirit while digging potatoes for the needy, listened to spiritually uplifting special speakers and generally strengthed my faith by interacting with other knights,” he said. “All of those elements were further enhanced by the beautiful rural setting.” “I haven’t been on a weekend religious retreat since high school,” said Bob Grabenstein of Annunciation of Our Lord Parish in Fort Ashby and Knights of Columbus Council No. 15610. “The work, fun, and reflection of a retreat is something that I really missed. Last year’s retreat filled that need and I’m looking forward to this year’s retreat.” There will also be an opportunity to join the Knights of Columbus for those interested.
Participants will be staying at the dorms at the camp. Attendees must bring bedding, linens and towels. The cost is $80 per person which includes event, all meals and bunkhouse lodging. To register or for more information, send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or call (304) 258-2319.