Lenten breakfast series to be offered in city’s CBD
A Wednesday morning series of spiritual reflections slated for presentation at a downtown hotel will offer those who live and work in the CBD an opportunity for Lenten renewal before the 9-to-5 crunch.
The five-part series, entitled “Christ, Breakfast, Devotion (CBD),” will begin Feb. 25 with the reflection “Who is God? Who Are We?” Each weekly talk will take place from 7:30 to 8 a.m. at Homewood Suites by Hilton, 901 Poydras St. The hotel will provide a free continental breakfast to all participants during each half-hour gathering.
“We’re in a very central part of the CBD, where people can walk from all over – from the Warehouse District, from Canal Street,” said series creator and presenter Jesuit Brother Larry Huck, president of Good Shepherd Nativity Mission School, whose campus is located a half-block from Homewood Suites.
Positive action for Lent
Brother Larry said he came up with the idea for the series, which will cover the spiritual exercises designed by St. Ignatius of Loyola, to accommodate Catholics who may not have had the time or inclination to do a full weekend retreat on the exercises.
“I thought Lent would be a good time to (share) the spiritual exercises,” Brother Larry said. “Instead of giving up something, why not do something to keep Christ in front of you throughout the day?”
The Ignatian spiritual exercises direct the faithful to study and reflect on four major concepts: God’s enduring love for his children, even in their sinfulness; befriending Jesus and continually deepening that friendship; Jesus, the suffering servant whose love for his friends is so great he gives the ultimate sacrifice of his life; and the Resurrected Christ, the friend who suffered and died yet is still alive and present with his friends.
Brother Larry will use both Scripture and his personal faith journey to unpack each theme, and participants will receive a handout listing related Scripture passages they can access at home and in the workplace.
“I will be giving points for people to leave with and reflect on – it’s meant to help your own personal prayer,” Brother Larry said. “Hopefully, the things I share with them will help them get into that theme for the whole week.”
Healing through sharing
Brother Larry, a New Orleans native, an accomplished retreat leader and a 1987 Jesuit High graduate who taught the sacraments to sophomores at his alma mater from 2004-09, delights in seeing the Holy Spirit working in people during the brief yet powerful sessions employing the Ignatian model of spirituality.
“You see people coming in who may be broken but then finding some type of peace or healing,” he said. “They realize, ‘Maybe I need to change how I’m looking at what I do. How do I live the Gospels in what I do?’ Something happens when I share my own experiences (with others) – all of a sudden, Christ becomes present.”
School grateful for support
While the series of Lenten reflections will be the first collaboration of its kind between Good Shepherd and Homewood Suites, the hotel is a loyal friend of the school, opening its doors to students each Halloween for a trick-or-treating event coordinated by costumed staff. In addition to the complimentary breakfast at each reflection, the hotel is providing use of its facilities at no charge, Brother Larry said, citing another reason for presenting his Lenten series at a central location.
“I wanted to thank the people from downtown who do so much for our school,” he said. “So many businesses and people from the CBD come (to Good Shepherd) to volunteer as mentors or give donations to the school, whether it’s financial or hosting school supply drives.”
Although the five reflections are designed as a set, participants can benefit from attending a single session, Brother Larry said. The complete schedule for “Christ, Breakfast, Devotion” is:
• Feb. 25: “Who is God? Who Are We?”
• March 4: “God with Us!”
• March 11: “A Day in the Life of Jesus”
• March 18: “The Passion of the Lord”
• March 25: “The Resurrection”