GREENWOOD – On Saturday, March 7, Brother Daniel Korn, C.Ss.R, led a retreat about the Blessed Virgin Mary and her relationship in the mystery of Christ and the church at the Locus Benedictus Retreat Center.
Brother Korn started the retreat by asking how or what participants think about Mary. The group read a passage from Luke 1:26-36 depicting the Annunciation and then had a short prayer.
The day of reflection centered on the long tradition of veneration and devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary in the tradition of our Catholic experience. The morning was devoted to exploring the place of Mary in the history of the church, from the drawings in the catacombs of second century Christianity to the veneration of Mary in the Church today.
Brother Korn included the writings of St. John Paul II, who called Mary “the first Christian Catechumen,” Pope Benedict, who presented Mary as the “living text to be read,” and Pope Francis, who is presenting Mary as “Mother of the living gospel and star of evangelization.” There was time for personal reflection, scripture passage readings, prayers and a question and answer session.
Participants spent the afternoon reading and praying the icon of Our Mother of Perpetual Help.
The retreat ended around 3:30 p.m. with those present being invited to Mass at the chapel located on the premises.
“I think Brother Dan’s discussions raised the awareness of all for a deeper appreciation and understanding of the Blessed Virgin Mother and ourselves. He is coming out with a book shortly, which goes into more extensive details about iconography and veneration of the Blessed Mother, wrote Loretta W. Assini, a member of the parish council of Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish.
Locus Benedictus is a retreat center run by the Catholic lay people of Greenwood.
The Redemptorist community in Greenwood suggested this retreat as part of their evangelization outreach to the Catholic faithful in the Mississippi Delta area. The order is offering the retreat across the nation as part of the celebration of the 100th anniversary of receiving the icon.
(Editor’s note: Locus Benedictus is a new retreat center in the diocese including a chapel, retreat center and the residence for the Redemptorist priests serving in the diocese. More information is available online at www.locusbenedictus.org.)