Leadership development, spiritual retreat, and listening to father Dumarsais Pierre-Louis teaching about Jesuit Karl Rahner’s foundations of faith.

A very tall big man got in the retreat meeting room. He sat quietly in front of us.

Monsignor Chanel Jeanty introduced him as father Dumarsais Pierre-Louis, the spiritual director of the retreat. Father Dumarsais is from Gonaives, Haiti, and is on a sabbatical year from the West Palm Beach diocese, where he normally works as a catholic school spiritual counsellor.

He moved to the lectern, stood up straight, and closed his eyes, inviting the holy spirit to be with us at this special moment.

Father Dumarsais asked Monsignor Chanel his permission to make a slight correction. Monsignor nodded “yes”, and Father Dumarsais cleared his throat to say:

“I am not the director of the retreat. I may me the facilitator.  God is our director, He will lead the retreat.”karl rahner2

Here are some notes I jot down from father Dumarsais’s introduction of the retreat:

“ God will take us as far as He has been. We need an active faith to follow Him in good and bad moments. Our faith is always being tested.”

“This is Saepe expertus which means we are always tested by our doubts, sins, twits, and turns in life.”

“We have to forgive. Forgiveness is liberation. It’s a gift we give to ourselves.”

“Eternal life is the biggest bank we can invest in.”

“The church is also the church of the sinners. The church is not a museum of saints, but a hospital for the sinners, for those who are carrying the weight of life.”

Father Dumarsais introduced us to the teaching of Karl Rahner, a German Jesuit priest and theologian who is considered one of the most influential Catholic theologians of the 20th century. Rahner’s theology influenced the Second Vatican Council and was ground-breaking for the development of what is generally seen as the modern understanding of catholicism.

Father Dumarsais shared 5 attitudes from Rahner’s foundations of faith:

karl rahner1.-  Total belief. Give up yourself to God.

2.- Be mystic. Live every day in mystery with the grace of God. Live a reality which is not real.

3.- Silence. Create space for silence. Eliminate noise to embrace silence. Pray.

4.- Love your neighbor as you love God.

5.- Be positive. Take responsibility.

He sent us to sleep asking us to meditate and to create internal dialogues on the two following questions:

1.- What part of my life does not reflect God’s message of hope?

2.- What part of my life should I give total control to God?

Have fun. God bless,


Published by Roosevelt

Roosevelt JF is a Global Leadership Fulbright Research Scholar from Florida Atlantic University (FAU) where he taught Haitian Studies as an Adjunct Instructor (2005-2010). Roosevelt was also a senior admissions adviser at Kaplan University. Roosevelt JF is the President of The JF TEAM, INC; a full media marketing and business development consulting firm based in Fort-Lauderdale, FL. He is a sought out radio and TV business show host. He is also a guest for several mainstream medias including NPR, the Miami Herald and Newsweek. He also leads the Center for Communication of AIDS, a network of journalists committed against AIDS in Haiti and South Florida. He speaks fluently Creole, English, French and Spanish. He is the author Of "Leadership sur le vif: Des idées pour le changement et la création de richesse en Haïti".

3 thoughts on “Leadership development, spiritual retreat, and listening to father Dumarsais Pierre-Louis teaching about Jesuit Karl Rahner’s foundations of faith.

  1. It seems like a very nice retreat. I studied about Father Karl Rahner while studying for my Jesuit theological degree at the Weston Jesuit School of Theology that merged with Boston College. Unfortunately, as a Black or Haitian woman, with almost two theological degrees, I am in a misunderstood position and not able to use such a great knowledge in the Haitian or the Black community I am familiar with.

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