A part of me felt bad for our young adults from St. Joseph who had probably been looking forward to a weekend far away from me, only to find that I would be there doing a keynote…! No matter, I was only there for half a day, and my talk on “Receiving God’s Mercy” was less than an hour long. And yes, it turns out they were very proud of me!
I only knew about the Fortes in Fide retreat because several of our church members went last year and had an amazing time, so I was very honoured to be asked to speak this year. I got such a sweet request from retreat coordinator Nicolette Lea, that I couldn’t say no, plus the fact that she shares the same baptismal name as my daughter (French saint Colette de Corbie) didn’t hurt! Over lunch with Fr. Eugene, he told me to feel free to “jazz up” my talk, but after Nicolette sent me photos of the beautiful chapel where I was to speak (yes, she’s that organized!) I decided to keep it real and keep it simple.
I talked about what it means to be an adult with a mature faith. I talked about how our lives sometimes prevent us from achieving our potential, and how surrendering ourselves to God and gratefully receiving his mercy is the first step on the way to excellence, excellence in faith, and the kind of holiness we should be aiming for. I mentioned Pope Francis’ invitation to take part in this very special Year of Mercy and how, together with our community of believers, we can become true followers of Christ.