Dear Friends and Parishioners,
Twice a year the Bishop asks us to come to Boise for two “command performances.” The
first, called “Study Days,” is usually sometime in early Spring. The second is a priest retreat,
usually in the early Fall.
Usually on the first night we start with Evening Prayer, (The Liturgy of the Hours) and go over
the schedule for the week. We have an evening social (read cocktail party!) and dinner. The best
part of this is the opportunity to see all the priests. Throw in lots of gossip, stories,
memories, and laughter, and you have a good start to the week!
This year our Study Days were fantastic. Our presenter was Dr. John Bergsma, a professor at
the University of Steubenville and a noted scholar on the Dead Sea Scrolls and their
influence on early Christianity. He has written books about early Christianity, the Eucharist, the
Sacraments and Scripture study.
He was a deep rooted Protestant Pastor (Dutch Calvinist) who literally missed a freeway exit and
ended up at the gates of Notre Dame University. He graduated with a Doctorate in Theology and
then he and his wife were received into the Catholic Church after that. We priests sat for hours listening and taking notes. We said Morning Prayer, Mid–day Prayer, celebrated Mass, and prayed Evening Prayer each day. In talking to my brother priests, it seemed as if our prayers and Masses were extra special as we connected the dots between early Christianity and the Church of today.
I am very grateful to the parish for allowing me to be gone for a week. Some priests weren’t able to
come because of other parish duties.
If you are interested in learning more about Dr. Bergsma, his story and writings his website is: or
https://catholicproductions.com/collections/john–bergsma or https://www.johnbergsma.com