In the wee hours of Saturday morning, a shadowy group of men encircled a smaller circle of tiki torches. In the center of the light stood a flashlight, holding up a pix bearing the Eucharist. The Brotherhood of the Iron Will was holding its Chastity Retreat.
The Chastity Retreat is the biggest Kepha retreat of the year. In the days when the Don Bosco Chapter in New Orleans and the St Peter Chapter in Dallas were active, this was the one joint retreat of the year. Typically, the retreat was held in Shreveport, Louisiana, which was roughly halfway between the two cities.
But on last Saturday morning Kephans prayed Yawns for Christ, the 2am hour-long adoration of the Sacrament, on a beach in Destin. The men began on the beach with a Rosary, followed by an examination of conscience. Then followed a half-hour of silent prayer. The members of the Brotherhood were so intent in their adoration that it was only as they were cleaning up did they realize they had been joined by another young man not part of the group.
Over 20 men attended the retreat in Destin, Florida. Some were from the Emerald Coast, but most were from out of state; Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas men were in attendance.
The retreat began on Friday afternoon. I missed the first part of the retreat, but arrived in time for Yawns. In the morning, the men had their dads’ talk (which really is for anyone over 18), where they discussed how to talk about chastity with their sons. Morning Prayers and breakfast followed, which in turn were followed by time on the beach.
Our speaker, Eric Cedor, and his wife talked to the group three separate times during the day. He discussed the negative and positive requirements of chastity, the errors of our culture, and the role of chastity in our lives. Each talk was followed by time for fathers to talk to their sons by themselves, and then beach time. At 3 the Kephans prayed a Divine Mercy Chaplet on the beach.
In the evening everyone gathered in the living room for “story time,” which allowed anyone who had a story, joke, or something he wanted to share to stand and address the group. Following this, a few guys walked the beach before lights out.
Sunday morning came with another dad’s discussion, breakfast, open mic, and clean up. The Brotherhood attended Mass at nearby St Rita’s, then disbanded with a picture and the Kepha Rally Cry.
Both proper etiquette and my satisfied stomach require me to thank the women for making the delicious meals for us during the retreat.
As always after a Kepha retreat, everyone is looking forward to the next one.