Italian Servite priest chosen to lead Lenten Retreat at Vatican
January 13, 2016
Pope Francis has asked Father Ermes Maria Ronchi, an Italian Servite, to lead this year’s Lenten Retreat for the Roman Curia.
Father Ronchi, a theology professor at the Marianum theological faculty in Rome, reported that he was stunned by the call from the Pope, who asked him to do a “favor” by leading the spiritual exercises. Father Ronchi, a familiar figure in the Italian Catholic media, wrote the texts used for reflection at the National Meeting of Young People in Italy in 2007.
This year’s Lenten Retreat will begin on Sunday, March 6, and continue through Saturday, March 12. Following the pattern that Pope Francis set during his pontificate, the retreat will be held outside Rome, in Ariccia, to encourage a reflective atmosphere.
Last year Father Bruno Secondin, a Carmelite teacher at the Pontifical Gregorian University, was the preacher for the Lenten Retreat. In 2013 the spiritual exercises were led by Msgr. Angelo De Donatis, a priest of the Rome diocese.