South Charlotte

Catholic speaker, author Michael Gaitley to lead retreat

One of Catholicism's newest voices will lead a weekend retreat at St. John Neumann Catholic Church in early November.

Father Michael Gaitley, MIC, a nationally known speaker and author, will teach from his book "Consoling the Heart of Jesus," which is in its second printing less than two years after it was published.

Gaitley, who is in his mid-30s, was ordained in October 2010. He also has been appointed director of the Association of Marian Helpers in Stockbridge, Mass., and works at the National Shrine of Divine Mercy there.

St. John Neumann pastor Patrick Hoare invited Gaitley. "He's very busy, and the fact that we were able to get him on the schedule was awesome," said Meredith Magyar, St. John Neumann's faith formation coordinator.

Magyar said the church already has gotten a strong response, with people from churches all over Charlotte registering to attend.

The retreat will begin with a Friday night Mass on Nov. 4, and Saturday Gaitley will lead several sessions based on his book. The retreat will end Sunday at 11 a.m. Mass, which Gaitley and Hoare will celebrate together.

The retreat is open to everyone, and it is not necessary to read "Consoling the Heart of Jesus" to attend.

The book is structured as a "do-it-yourself retreat" that draws on the spiritual exercises and teachings of saints Ignatius, Therese of Lisieux, Faustina Kowalska and Louis de Montfort.

Registration for the retreat is open through Monday; $40 cost covers meals and retreat expenses. To register, email Magyar at St. John Neumann is at 8451 Idlewild Road.