From the Director: Christmas 2017

Dear Friends of the Archbishop Brunett Retreat Center,

Merry Christmas! May the peace and joy of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you and your families this Christmas.

   Patrick Sharkey

As I pause to reflect on the past year, I am so grateful to all of you who have supported and visited the Retreat Center. Your help and patronage allows this ministry to touch thousands of lives each year. This year alone, nearly seven thousand visitors had the opportunity to encounter Christ at the Retreat Center.  Christ truly does use this ministry to touch and change lives.

I want to brighten your Christmas with two little stories of how, with your help, Jesus worked through this ministry. The first is a story of success from the Betrothed marriage preparation retreat directed by Dr. Sarah Bartel and her husband, Nathan. We all see the attacks on marriage and the family today. I think we can all agree about the necessity of strong marriage preparation to help couples lay a foundation built on rock, The Rock, to help them withstand the pressures of the culture. We’ve also heard the old idiom, “the family that prays together, stays together.” Comparing surveys from before and after the Betrothed retreat, 100% of the couples reported that they were more likely to pray with their future spouses! They also reported to be more open to attending church and to have a better understanding of their wedding vows! It was clear from both the surveys and in conversation with the couples that the Lord had used the retreat to draw them closer to one another and to Him. We continue to keep the couples in our prayers as they start their new families.

Secondly, I want to share a story of the Lord planting seeds. A woman came to the Retreat Center for a meeting. She’d grown up Catholic but, sadly, over the years had fallen away from the Church. However, over her brief time with us, she was stuck by the peace and beauty of the Retreat Center. When she left, she took home a copy of Rediscovering Catholicism by Matthew Kelly and said, “Maybe I will give the Church a second try.” We don’t know the next chapter of this woman’s story or those of the almost 50 other people that took home copies of Rediscovering Catholicism, but we continue to pray for them. I hope to one day see this woman again at the Retreat Center, and to see how the seed planted that day has grown.

These are only two of the myriad of stories we hear; after each of our retreats people leave notes stating how the Lord touched them during their time here. So once again, thank you for being a friend of the Archbishop Brunett Retreat Center. Please know that your support and friendship helps touch lives. I hope that we will have the honor of hosting you in the coming year and the opportunity of helping the Lord touch your life, as well, through this ministry.

Until that happy day, I wish you all the best this Christmas! May your homes be filled with light, warmth, and laughter, and may our Incarnate Lord bless you in every way.

God Love you and God Bless,

Gratefully Yours,

Patrick Sharkey, Director


Questions or comments? You may contact Patrick at