Young Black Men Invited to ‘Go Down Moses’ Retreat in December

Maria Hayes Around the Province

SILVER SPRING, Md. — Catholic men ages 18 to 40 of African-American descent, as well as those who are African immigrants, are invited to join the Franciscan friars for a weekend retreat at Holy Family Spiritual Center.

The Go Down Moses Retreat will take place from Dec. 27 to  30. The goal of the gathering is “to help men more fully understand their Black Catholic heritage and their value around the Eucharistic table,” according to an informational flyer prepared by the retreat organizers. “The weekend seeks to help each participant know that he is needed in service and leadership in our Church, and in our families and communities.”

Gerald Hopeck, OFM, Fr. Fernand Cheri, OFM, of Sacred Heart Province, Br. Benedict Kelley, FBP, and Br. Gerard Jordan, O. Praem, will lead the retreat. The event is organized by the HNP African Ancestry Committee and sponsored by Holy Name Province, Sacred Heart Province, and the Franciscan Brothers of Peace.

Participants are asked to register by Dec. 15. Registration forms can be obtained by contacting Br. Benedict at 651-646-8586 ext. 301 or emailing The retreat is free to attend, and lodging and meals are provided. Friars are encouraged to share the event flyer with those who may be interested in attending.

The Go Down Moses concept is inspired by Fr. Ferd, who has run similar retreats in the Midwest. This is the second “Go Down Moses” retreat organized by the African Ancestry Committee. Last year’s event, also held between Christmas and New Year’s Day, attracted more than two dozen men from around the United States. The retreat, which offered prayers, presentations and visits to historic sites, was “a great effort of interprovincial collaboration,” said Gerald.

 Maria Hayes is communications coordinator for Holy Name Province.