April 10

Here is a frank account of one man’s mid-life confusion and search, and what a retreat did for him. God used two unlikely people to help him see the light—a Sister he did not know, and a violent young criminal facing a 40-year jail term.

In the beginning of the Inferno of The Divine Comedy, Dante tells Virgil he does not know how he ended in this “dark wild wood in the middle of life’s journey.” I was forty-eight years old, in the middle of my life’s journey, in what I considered the darkest, wildest wood of my life. Things were getting rough and I was actually considering a “long-permanent-break” from the Congregation. Weeks turned into months, and then, one February morning after receiving a fiery email (which I considered too unfair) from one of my superiors, I took off to Santa Monica (I was living in Los Angeles at that time, and I was part of the Chaplaincy team in Men’s Central Jail).

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Brother Carmel Duca MC

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