Businessmen's Retreat - 2000
September 22-24, 2000
Sponsored by Manhattan College

Conducted at the Passionist Spiritual Center
5801 Palisade Avenue, Riverdale, NY, 10471, Phone 718-549-6500

Retreat Links: [ Outline | Fr Jack | Rev Ron | DaveK | JohnT | Fr Paul ]

Visual Tour

Conference: "Finding the Right Balance Between our Commitment to Our Work and Family Life"

Speaker - Rev. Ron Minor.

Reverend Minor is currently Subprior (Associate Director) of an ecumenical Christian Community on Cape Cod, The Community of Jesus in Orleans, Massachusetts.  He is an ordained Presbyterian Minister, Past Moderator of the Presbytery of Boston, and served as Pastor of the United Presbyterian Church in Cambridge, MA.

Note by Pat Lyons: the Community of Jesus website is www.cofj.net.  The picture on the right is from the website.  It is impressive to read about the community, the church building, and church organ.  For example, the organ pipes are placed in chambers along the sides (click for details) of the church (instead of the traditional ends) enveloping the listener in sound from front to back and causing the entire building to "sing."

Outline of Talk

  1. Introduction
    1. I'm at the ecumenical Presbyterian church; our "book" is quite similar to the Catholic liturgy, etc.
    2. I had a mid-life conversion.  Since then I have known Jesus (and Mary) personally.
    3. Our purpose is to think God's thoughts after Him.
    4. Several crises in my life occurred around the same time.  I became anxious and doubtful.  A friend mentioned that I didn't know that God loves me.  I protested but soon found out that she was right.  So I concentrated on waking up in the morning at 5:30 am and learning that God does love me.
    5. How to be transformed men?  It's okay to stand against our culture, a culture that demands worldly fulfillment (including, e.g. children, material success).  Our true fulfillment is in Jesus.
    6. I was unchurched until seminary.  My first church assignment was a church in Boston.  At first, it had a low-income congregation; it then evolved into a young businessman's congregation, and then kept evolving.  After 20 years, I felt washed up.  I decided to leave and join a religious group on Cape Cod.  In essence, I abandoned my profession.  Friends told me they wish they had my guts.
  2. Family Relationships
    1. I always placed my ministry before my family.  My wife and I had problems, almost divorced.  I had to learn to stop trying to prove myself by what I did, to accept myself as I was.
    2. We must find out who we are.
    3. A monk's job is to become a better monk, despite his continual mistakes.
    4. We must become better Christians first; then we'll become better fathers, etc.  We have to become comfortable with the fact that God has called us, despite our faults and other activities.
    5. We usually err on the side of work.  Whose wife has said that he spends too much time at home?!
    6. We need to train ourselves to hear God when He tells us what to do.  Obedience to God's will is the important thing that I learned and that I gave to my children.  They are committed Christians; one is married and two are sisters at the Community of Jesus in Orleans, Mass.  So they turned out well, despite my failures as a father.
  3. Setting Priorities
    1. The tyranny of the urgent, being taken up by what's in front of us.  One must set his priorities, so he can have time for what is important.
    2. Set priorities.  Not every need constitutes a call.  I stopped counseling people during periods when I wanted to be at church services.
    3. When our prior died, I thought I'd be a good replacement.  But I found that administration was not my forte.  I had to realize what I was good at.
    4. Get together in groups and talk out your fears.  Since our roots are in Jesus, we need not fear our revelations.
    5. Each morning I ask God what to do.  I try to heed the first thing He says to me, to have faith that it's the right thing to do.  God won't give you a rock if you ask for bread.
  4. Having a Serious Relationship with Jesus
    1. I can foul up my life and God will still make use of me.  He's in the redemption business.
    2. If I were called back to the pastorate, I wouldn't try to pass myself off as someone who knew something.  I should trust God more, and try to be more myself, while listening for God's word.
    3. After my conversion, I could pray and understand that I was talking to someone; that Jesus was alive by me.
    4. Before a man can be open to a serious relationship with Jesus, he usually must come fact to face with failure.  He will then realize that he needs the help.
    5. On the other hand, women appear to be more ready to include Jesus in their lives.  They don't need to suffer traumas first.
    6. Many of us stop growing emotionally in our teens.  We pull the cover of a career over our emotions.  Later, it's embarrassing to reveal these teenage emotions, which are still with us.

(The notes of this outline were taken by David G. Price.  They were wordprocessed by Patrick Lyons.
These notes may not be reproduced without the written permission of the presenter.

This page was last edited on September 22, 2002 by Patrick Lyons.)