While going through my Spiritual Direction Certification course a few years ago, there emerged a guiding mantra that seemed counterintuitive yet resonated with me deeply: “go slow to go fast.” This saying serves as a reassuring compass during life’s challenges as well as the exhilaration of exciting endeavors. It gently redirects me away from my inclination to rush through tasks with a need for control and command, even if those accomplishments aren’t the most important or even aligned with the overarching vision.

As we immerse ourselves in the Advent season – a season to retreat into the desert and anticipation of the birth of our Lord – the irony isn’t lost on me. Despite the season’s intended spiritual alignment, it often becomes a fast-paced whirlwind of additional events and heightened expectations. From liturgical changes, providing additional spiritual opportunities for the community, supporting various requests, managing family gatherings, buying gifts, and navigating holiday traffic – the chaos can be so overwhelming for parish leaders that it drowns out our thoughts.

In many of my conversations with leaders, a concerning refrain often emerges: “I don’t have time to take a day off.” To me, this statement serves as an alarming red flag, signaling the need for a more extended break. During these hectic times, we crave leaders who anchor us in calm, provide clarity, and serve as beacons of light guiding us confidently toward our collective vision; our North Star.

Creating a space for realignment isn’t merely an option; it’s an essential responsibility for every leader. Embracing the universal truth in the power of silence, these quiet moments of reflection become sanctuaries for our souls to breathe, inviting insights to surface and enabling us to realign with the voice of the Lord and His vision for us. In these sacred spaces, we discover strength through renewed gratitude and wisdom from our internal exploration.

So, how has your desert experience unfolded thus far? When was the last time you embarked on a genuine retreat? When was the last time you took your team on a retreat? If it’s been a while, I encourage you, go slow to go fast. Contemplate the potential transformation to be had by stepping out of the chaos and into a serene retreat for a few hours or an entire day with your team. Realign yourselves within a quiet space that is disconnected from your normal environment and discern the vision the Lord has for you.

Remember, it’s not just about reaching a destination or completing tasks; it’s about the transformative journey we undertake together. May this Advent season be one marked by profound growth, wisdom, and a shared sense of purpose.

In the spirit of embracing the transformative journey together, I invite you to prioritize the sacred practice of slowing down amidst the chaos by scheduling a charisms and culture workshop. “Charisms & Culture” is a retreat-style workshop built to rejuvenate and empower both parishes and Pastors.


Also, here is a song that’s been reverberating in my head and heart these past weeks…

Charisms & Culture: A Retreat Style Workshop for Parishes & Pastors

Elevare’s ‘Charisms & Culture’ workshop revitalizes parishes and empowers pastors for dynamic community growth.