I had a wonderful visit to Palm Beach this weekend—my first trip there—and spent an enriching couple of days preaching a retreat to deacons and their wives at the Our Lady of Florida Spiritual Center, run by the Passionists.
My room afforded me a great view of the water and if the outside was pretty, the interior of the center isn’t bad, either.
The chapel has some spectacular stained glass windows. By afternoon, the lighting was truly stunning.
The grounds include an outdoor altar—I’m told the area here is packed for a sunrise Mass on Easter Sunday—and some tranquil spots for watching the boats glide by.
And the boats, I should add, are not exactly tiny.
There’s ample room to stroll the grounds.
An outdoor Stations of the Cross remind us of the Passionists’ devotion to preaching Christ crucified.
Sunday, Brooklyn’s own Bishop Gerald Barbarito—bishop of the diocese for about 15 years now— came by to celebrate Mass.
He’s a gem, and still much beloved by the gang back in Brooklyn. He greeted me with a warm hug and seemed grateful to see another boy from Brooklyn spending time in the area that folks call “New York’s Sixth Borough,” Palm Beach.
And of course, we sang this:
The weekend was much too brief, but I do hope to make it back one day. The deacons of Palm Beach are a great group—devoted, committed, smart, wonderfully engaging and engaged. They are a gift. It was a blessing to spend time with them. Thanks to the Passionists for their superb hospitality, too! This retreat facility is a treasure. Looking for “a place apart”? Checkthis out.