From the Director: Thanksgiving 2018

Happy Thanksgiving from the Archbishop Brunett Retreat Center!

   Patrick Sharkey

I remember growing up, my family’s Thanksgiving traditions followed what you might expect. They typically consisted of Grandma and Grandpa coming over for a big meal sometime in the early afternoon. My mother almost always baked a turkey, and my dad had a custom of asking each of us what we were most thankful for that year. However, after the meal, the family traditions would wrap up, and that is where my personal Thanksgiving tradition began. Each year I’d ask my mother if my best friend Luke, who lived across the street, could come over, or if I could go play over at his house. Luke’s family Thanksgiving traditions must have been much like my own, because he always seemed to be free Thanksgiving afternoons. He and I would spend the rest of the day thanking God for Legos and praising him for the beauty of Star Wars.

Thankfully, as I have grown older, I’ve also grown in my appreciation of this American holiday and of the virtue of gratitude itself. Just a few years before the birth of Christ, Cicero called gratitude the greatest of the virtues and the parent of virtue. I’d say that our Christian tradition recognizes a slightly different hierarchy of virtue but, none the less, recognizes the importance of being thankful. Christ himself says, “Blessed are the meek.” Personally, I have often found that when I am feeling down or burnt-out, cultivating a thankful heart has helped me to recover joy and a sense of peace.

When I think of the Retreat Center and of all the blessings we have to be grateful for, my soul is once again lifted. I am thankful beyond words for the beauty of this place and for the special way it has touched so many lives. I am thankful to the Redemptorists for starting this important ministry and to the fantastic staff with which we have been blessed. I am thankful this year especially for the growth we’ve had and the way God is moving us forward. Finally, I am incredibly thankful to you, dear Reader, for giving us the opportunity to walk with you on your journey of faith. It is an inestimable honor to play a part in your story and to have you play a part in ours. I truly believe that Christ works in and through every person that interacts with the Retreat Center, so thank you!

Please know that all of us here at the Archbishop Brunett Retreat Center are thinking of you this Thanksgiving and are lifting praises of gratitude to the Lord. I personally will be praying that the Good Lord fills your homes with smiles, laughter, and good food… and I will also be praying in between building Legos with my nieces and nephews!

May the joy and peace of Christ be yours and God love you,
Patrick Sharkey, Director

Questions or comments? You may contact Patrick at