Over Presidents Day Weekend, members and candidates of the Order from Washington, DC and Montgomery County (Md.) gathered for a retreat focusing on spiritual renewal. Our retreat director was the newest associate chaplain of the Federal Association, the Rev. James Greenfield, president of De Sales University, who encouraged us to “bless more and curse less,” and to move “from surviving to thriving.”


To understand thriving, Father Greenfield gave us eight “iterations”: (1) really living in the present moment; (2) increasing our spiritual literacy through reading and sharing what we read; (3) growing in gratitude and thanksgiving; (4) practicing hospitality; (5) learning to look at the people and world around us with a long, loving look; (6) being respectful and thus giving others a second, third, and fourth chance; (7) cultivating a sense of wonder; and (8) finding connections in our lives because “an unconnected life is not worth living.”