To begin this year’s celebration of the “Fiftieth anniversary of my Baptism in the Holy Spirit”, at the invitation of Cardinal Lacroix, we gave the annual retreat to the French-speaking Bishops of Canada. The Cardinal himself, without secretary or driver, met us at the airport and even carried our luggage.

The Cardinal had decided to communicate personally to Pope Francis this experience of synodality in a retreat for Bishops given by a Mexican layman.

The theme was: THE HOLY SPIRIT, in the climate and methodology of the Charismatic Renewal. The response of the 30 bishops present was wonderful and open. Some of them asked for personal prayer.

It was celebrated in the Cistercian Abbey of Mary of Nazareth, in absolute silence all the time, and the liturgy was sung in Gregorian, entering into an atmosphere of recollection and contemplation in cloistered territory, where, by exception, my wife Susan and I were admitted. According to the rite of the religious of the Order, the Eucharist was not presided over by a bishop but by one of the monks of the community. Only the Cardinal presided over the Eucharist at the end of the retreat.

At the end, God dressed the whole scene in white with a snowfall, as a symbol of what happened in this retreat.


José H. Prado Flores


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