This summer the Missionaries of the Precious Blood from the Cincinnati and Kansas City Provinces gathered for a Community retreat at Saint Joseph’s College, which the Congregation sponsors, in Rensselaer, Ind. Among the more than 100 people who took part were Companions (lay associates) and C.PP.S. sisters.
The retreat leader was Fr. Barry Fischer, C.PP.S., a member of the Cincinnati Province and a former moderator general of the worldwide Congregation. He chose the theme of “Following Francis: A Precious Blood Response to the Pope’s Call for Renewal.”
Why that theme? Because after 40 years of religious life, Fr. Barry said he himself is renewed and invigorated by Pope Francis’ message. “He has inspired me with his down-to-earth expressions. At first I was jotting down the things that he was saying. Then I realized that he had a message that calls to us as Precious Blood people. He’s calling us to the renewal and reform of the Church,” Fr. Fischer said. “The Holy Father is calling us to be a Christ-centered church and to get back to the basics.”
Throughout the retreat, Fr. Fischer told stories of his life as a Missionary in the United States, Chile, Guatemala, and Rome, and his current assignment in Austria. He urged all to take the Holy Father’s message to heart.
“The renewal of the Church begins with us. We are all paying attention to what the Holy Father is doing, but we are Church. All of the baptized are Church,” Fr. Fischer said. “If we really want to reform the Church, it begins in our lives. Our spirituality of the Blood of Christ prepares us to make that great vision possible.”
Text by Jean Giesige, Cincinnati Province.