A Parish Retreat That Overflows - in Numbers and in Grace
Matthew Kelly's retreats spark conversions and and a new impulse toward holiness among parishioners.
"I consider Matthew Kelly to be the most inspirational person I have ever met and he has had a tremendous affect on my spirituality, priesthood, and more. I truly consider him to be a modern day prophet."
Fr. Ronald Rieder, OFM Cap.
Pastor of SS. Peter and Paul Catholic Church
The need it meets
There is a deep need for lay people to realize that they, too, are called to be holy. Matthew Kelly meets this need in a highly effective way.
Where it came from
Matthew Kelly is a well-known Catholic motivational speaker whose basic message is a powerful call to holiness. He presents his message in a new light by inviting people to become "the best possible version of themselves."
How it works
Matthew Kelly visits parishes and preaches retreats and parish missions all over the world.
Pastors who are interested in inviting him as a speaker can contact Bridget Eichhold, Retreat Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org or 513-221-7700. A list of current retreats that parishioners can sign up for is posted on www.matthewkelly.org under the "retreats" tab.
Fr Ronald Rieder has known Matthew Kelly and has had him come as a speaker and preacher at his parish for the past 8 years. The results in his parish have been spectacular.
The retreat center fills up to maximum capacity (120 people) very quickly. Some people actually fly in from other cities and countries to attend.
After Kelly's talk on the sacrament of Confession, which is an integral part of the weekend retreat, almost ALL of the retreatants sign up for confession. Father Rieder has to ask for other priests to assist him in hearing confessions, and he is usually in the confessional for up to 8 hours at a time, absolving people from burdens they have carried for 20, even 30 years. He said the conversions become palpable in the confessional, where people truly open their souls to God's mercy.
When the audience is of mixed ages, as sometimes happens, Father Rieder has seen that Kelly reaches ALL of them very effectively.
Mass attendance goes up after a Kelly retreat, with more people attending daily Mass, and others coming back to Sunday Mass for the first time in years. Adoration also goes up.
There are frequently major conversion stories. One young woman who had left the Church and had been making movies as an actress in Hollywood for 13 years, came to a Matthew Kelly retreat because her mother pushed her to do it. The retreat sparked a major change of heart. She returned to the Church and embraced a change of lifestyle: she left Hollywood, started a Master's degree program, and is now using her degree to work with autistic children.
- Promotion is important.
- It is a very good idea to have a good supply of his books on hand for sale after the retreat. This will help prolong the impact of the retreat in the participants.
- Extra priests on hand to hear confessions.
How to implement it
Contact the Matthew Kelly Foundation at http://www.matthewkelly.org.
Fr. Ronald Rieder, OFM Cap. is pastor of
SS. Peter and Paul Catholic Church.