This past weekend, Mother Dorothy, and Sisters Maria Francis, Bridgid, and Elizabeth Marie attended the 2010 Institute on Religious Life National Meeting held at the Mundelein Seminary, in Mundelein, Illinois. This year the meeting focused on the life and legacy of the saintly Father John A. Hardon, S.J., the Founder of the IRL. Throughout his life, Father Hardon worked tirelessly to help bring about a real renewal in Religious Life, Catechetics, Catholic family life, and greater devotion to Our Lord in the Eucharist and His Mother Mary.
Father Hardon passed to eternal life on December 30th, 2000 and his cause for canonization was opened at the request of Archbishop Raymond Burke, who was the recipient of the 2010 Pro Fidelitate et Virtute Award at the National Meeting this year. The Archbishop was recognized for all he has done to support and promote the consecrated life, his strong and constant defense of the Catholic Faith, and his work to promote and further the work and vision of the servant of God. Archbishop Burke’s Friday Keynote address focused on the theological, spiritual, and apostolic legacy of Father Hardon.
Among the Speakers at the National Meeting were, Father Benedict Groeschel, C.F.R., Father Louis Guardiola of the Fathers of Mercy, Msgr. Charles Mangan, Mother Assumpta Long, and Father Robert McDermott (Postulator for the cause of Father Hardon).
Our Friday morning schedule began at the Marytown Retreat and Conference Center with talks given by Father Groeschel and Mother Assumpta on Father Hardon’s work for renewal of religious Life and His own religious and Priestly life. . Marytown is run by the Conventual Franciscan Friars and we were happy to see again some friends we made among them at past VCI summer sessions!
In the afternoon, the opening Mass was celebrated by Archbishop Burke and con-celebrated by the numerous priests attending the Meeting ; Father Benedict, CFR, was the homilist. In the evening the Arch bishop gave his Keynote address in the beautiful Seminary Chapel followed by exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, the holy rosary and benediction. On Saturday we heard a biographical sketch of Father Hardon by Mr Jay McNally called Black Robe, White Martyr and another talk by Father Louis Guardiola, C.P.M., on the Servant of God’s Eucharistic spirituality. Saturday afternoon offered six choices of talks to attend with Holy Mass at 4 pm leading up to the evening Banquet with Archbishop Burke receiving the 2010 Pro Fidelitate et Virtute award. From 10 pm there was all night exposition and adoration in the chapel. On Sunday the final talk was given, and the novena to the Divine Mercy novena prayed. the closing Mass was celebrated by Father Thomas Nelson, O. Praem., National Director of the IRL.