Men’s Retreat

St. Francis of Assisi’s 44th Annual Men’s Retreat:
Help Us to Hear, Lord
Friday Evening, January 8
Saturday, January 9


Due to COVID-19, the 2021 retreat will be held at St. Francis of Assisi Parish. We will follow the Archdiocese of Cincinnati Social Distancing and Health Safety Guide Lines.

Our Retreat Master: Fr. Brett Garland

Fr. Brett Garland is a son of St. Colman of Cloyne Parish in Washington Court House, Ohio.  After high school, Fr. Garland studied theology and philosophy at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.  Following his graduation, he hiked the 500-mile “Camino” pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela, Spain. Later that fall, he entered seminary for the Diocese of Columbus at the Pontifical College Josephinum.  On May 26, 2018, Fr. Garland was ordained a priest of Jesus Christ by Bishop Frederick Campbell.  After serving for two years in parishes on Columbus’ West Side, Fr. Garland was recently assigned to St. Mary’s in Delaware, Ohio, where he serves as parochial vicar. He has served as a prison chaplain, and continues to minister to the growing Hispanic community in the Diocese of Columbus.

Summary: The St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church Vision states “Christ calls us to a future of greater loving, lifting, listening, learning, and leading.”
This retreat will focus on the third Parish principle and value, “listening.”
Fr. Garland will weave experiences from his “Camino” pilgrimage and introduce each presentation with a short anecdote from the pilgrimage to guide us on: a spiritual journey directed towards opening one’s heart to hearing the Lord’s voice.

Conference 1: Packing – and unplugging – for a spiritual journey

Following my graduation from college and just before entering seminary, I decided to embark upon a month-long walking pilgrimage along the ancient path known as the Camino de Santiago, located in northern Spain. But even before I could begin this spiritual journey, I had to decide what to bring along with me – and more importantly – what to leave at home. This talk will provide some orientation for the retreat, and will discuss the preliminary preparations necessary to free ourselves from distractions and obstacles along our spiritual journey.

Conference 2: Hearing God speak through our companions on the Way

One of the unexpected joys of the Camino was the community that formed as I walked along the path and learned the stories of my fellow pilgrims. I was amazed at how much I learned about myself and God from the relationships that I developed with others, all of whom had been strangers just weeks or days earlier. This talk will concentrate on the deep “personalism” of the Catholic faith: how we ought to be open to the voice of the Lord as He speaks to us in our daily interpersonal interactions. 

Conference 3: Encountering God in the daily grind

In order to finish the pilgrimage in time to make my return flight, I had to walk roughly 20 miles each day. As much as I wanted to rest after a long day of walking, I had to hand-wash my clothes, search for food to prepare the next day’s lunch on-the-go, and cook dinner at the hostel to save money. But I learned that these laborious daily tasks were as much an opportunity for encountering God as any other experience I had along the Camino. This talk will challenge us to see our daily labors not as distractions from hearing God’s voice, but rather as yet another opportunity to enter into a deeper dialogue with Christ.

Conference 4: The end – and beginning – of our pilgrimage

As I reached the end of my journey, the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, I realized that I wasn’t quite ready for the journey to end. After walking over 500 miles, I was just beginning to reap the spiritual fruits of the pilgrimage! I decided to extend the walk by another 50 miles, which took me to the town of Finisterre, built on the coastline overlooking the Atlantic. It was in the solitude of this last leg of my pilgrimage that I began to appreciate the interior dimension of my journey – a journey that had just begun. In this talk, we will look back at where we have been, and discuss practical ways of remaining open to the Lord’s Presence – long after the end of this retreat.


Due to COVID-19, the 2021 retreat will be held at St. Francis of Assisi Parish. We will follow the Archdiocese of Cincinnati Social Distancing and Health Safety Guide Lines.
The program will be Friday evening and Saturday. We will NOT be staying overnight.
The cost will be $40.00. The only meal provided will be an individually boxed, restaurant supplied lunch on Saturday.
You are offered the option to participate in small group discussions after each presentation OR have quiet time and personal reflection in your pew.



6:30 pm-7:00             Arrival and check-in
7:00-8:00                    Holy Hour
8:10-8:30                    Call to Assembly
8:30-10:00                  Session #1
10:00-10:30                Evening Prayer
10:30 Midnight Adoration

8:00 am-8:30        Morning Prayer
8:30-10:00            Session #2
10:00-10:30          Rosary
10:30-10:45          Photograph
11:00-11:30          Mass
11:30-12:30          Lunch
12:30-2:00            Session #3
2:00-3:30              Session #4
3:30-4:00              Wrap-up
4:00-6:00              Reconciliation

For more information call Marc Martens at (937) 602-0405/ Jim Kracus 937-641-9697/ Bill Bradfute 937-307-1385. Registration Forms are available at this link. For more details visit the information table in the Gathering Space after weekend Masses.