From the

Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane

Deacon Eric Meisfjord, Editor
P.O. Box 48, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302

IHRC offers specialized retreat for handicapped

by Bonita Lawhead, Inland Register staff

(From the Aug. 1, 2002 edition of the Inland Register)

Photo: Deacon Steve Prawdzik (left) will be leading a Handicapped Encounter Christ )HEC) retreat at the end of September. Among those attending will be John Keck (center), founder of HEC. At right is Susan Caras, Keck’s assistant in the HEC retreat movement. (IR photo from Deacon Steve Prawdzik)

A Handicapped Encounter Christ (HEC) retreat, specially designed for people who are physically handicapped and who have special needs, will be given at Immaculate Heart Retreat Center in Spokane Friday-Monday, Sept. 27-30.

Deacon Steve Prawdzick is coordinating the retreat. He called the HEC retreat Gospel-centered, “about our inner lives and our relationships with God.

“It is a time for individuals to come away from their regular life, and spend time searching for and finding refuge in God,” he said. The retreat can help handicapped persons come to terms with their view of themselves as whole persons.

Deacon Prawdzik said the retreat’s theme reflects on what it means to be human and “choosing Christ to bring fullness to human life.”

John Keck of New York, who founded HEC in the mid-1970s, will attend the Spokane retreat. Keck is also physically handicapped.

The retreat format is one day longer than most retreats, which, Deacon Prawdzick said, is needed to “cover all the issues” that can affect those with physical challenges. Deacon Prawdzick has been to New York for training, and called the HEC retreat he attended “a wonderful experience.”

Deacon John Ruscheinsky, director at Immaculate Heart Retreat Center, and Mary Cronin, an IHRC staff member, have also had HEC training.

Deacon Prawdzick issued a call for assistance: “presenters as well as behind the scenes support staff. We need help to make this exceptional retreat format possible.” He said they could especially use “people who are willing to be paired with a handicapped person throughout the retreat and be of assistance to them.” The retreat “draws its strength from the interaction of the individuals who participate and help.”

Those interested in helping are asked to call Cronin at IHRC: (509) 448-1224.

Handicapped people who would like to attend the retreat or persons who know of handicapped members in their parishes who might like to attend should also contact Cronin.

The retreat is not limited to those who are physically handicapped; all are welcome.

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