FEDERAL WAY – Ask anyone about angst in the post-modern world, and you’ll get answers, plenty of them: the Internet, Facebook, family, work, lack of time, technology, globalization and politics, among many others, in no particular order.
What’s more, following Jesus in that context isn’t easy.
Enter Father Bryan Dolejsi and his father, Ned Dolejsi. They understand the blessings and challenges of living as disciples of Jesus today. And they’re ready to help, by leading a May 26-28 retreat, “Men of Christ in a Post-Modern World: A Conversation on Discipleship.”
Designed for men 18 and older, the weekend at the Archbishop Brunett Retreat Center at the Palisades in Federal Way is a chance to reflect on “what it means to be a man of faith. How does that help you, and how do you share that with others?” said Father Dolejsi, the archdiocese’s director of vocations and a priest at St. Benedict Parish in Seattle.
Though the session is billed as a chance for fathers and sons to have a dialogue, “we have both father-and-son combinations and individual guys who are also going,” he said.
This is the first time Father Dolejsi has facilitated a retreat with his father. But Ned has dedicated his career to the church, first in Western Washington and now in California, where he serves as executive director of the California Catholic Conference, the public policy arm of the Catholic bishops of California.
During the retreat, the Dolejsis will model two generations conforming their lives to the paschal mystery of Christ, in which each taught the other valuable lessons of faith.
“I’ll talk about growing up in the Catholic Church,” Father Dolejsi said, “and what I’ve learned along the way. I’ll share what I’ve learned from my dad. There are lots of blessings. These are the areas where we find Jesus in the midst of all things.”
That’s no one-way street. Ned recognizes that his son has helped him deepen his understanding of how Jesus guides him in the postmodern world: “He has inspired me to be more focused and consistent in my prayer life,” Ned said of his son. “That’s just one of the gifts he has given me.”
Janet Cleaveland is a member of the Proto-Cathedral of St. James the Greater in Vancouver.