Why The Founders Did It?

Fellow Recruiters,

In our day and age, there are many challenges to recruiting men and women to the retreat house for spiritual nourishment but perhaps the greatest challenge in recruiting today is the fear of being perceived as a religious fanatic. If we are honest with ourselves, many of us fear the consequences of talking about religion with our friends and family, out of fear that we will be seen as overzealous or judgmental. Continue to read and you will discover the solution to the problem. I have thought long and hard about this reality and it led me to go back to the beginning of the Malvern Retreat House and dig deep into how it started and what made the first recruiters, our founders, so successful? This led me to review our archives and take a close look at our founders: John Ferrick, John Sullivan, John Cabrey and Richard McSorley. These men started the laymen’s retreat league because they passionately and truly believed the best way to deal with the pressures of the world was to step into an extended period of silence with the trinity to receive the infinite gifts of wisdom, courage, right judgment and more.

Furthermore, in searching to discover what made these men so successful in their recruiting efforts, I looked for a common trait among them all. As I searched, I discovered the same common characteristic among the original founders is clearly evident in our most successful recruiters today. All of these recruiters are unapologetic when inviting their colleagues , family and friends to reform their lives through a personal encounter with Christ. They are not ashamed or embarrassed to talk about needing God’s mercy and grace and the absolute necessity and need for silence in one’s life. This unapologetic courage and faith has led them to bear countless fruit.

Why? Because they authentically believe in the truth of their faith. They believe with their whole heart, mind and soul in God’s presence and that a Catholic Retreat is one of the most beneficial opportunities to a person’s livelihood. No life should go without a spiritual retreat on a periodic basis. We must ask ourselves if we truly believe that?

So whether you are at work on your coffee break, at a parish gathering, or a family party, remain conscientious in inviting men and women to Malvern. Let your daily prayer life give you the courage to offer the invite ever so gently, and ever so persistently. Remember, whether they realize it or not, you are doing them an invaluable service. Tell them what Malvern has done for you. As I always say, make sure you can clearly state, with total conviction, the reasons why you continue to come to the Malvern Retreat House.


Patrick K. Benner
Recruitment Manager

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