The Journey Within

The Journey Within
with Dr. Tom Neal

On Jan 26-27, 2018, over 70 people participated in, "The Journey Within," a pre-Lent retreat directed by Dr. Tom Neal for catechumens, candidates, sponsors, and team members involved with Becoming Catholic and the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults from St. Francis of Assisi and Sacred Heart parishes in West Des Moines.

The retreat offered an immersion in the rich mystery of the spiritual life, the “interior life,” that deepest part of the life of faith that has to be established if faith is to endure and bear fruit.

Conference 1: "Are you not aware?" Opening the Gift of Baptism
Click here to view and print Dr. Neal's notes from Friday evening

Conference 2: The Journey Within: Seeking the Kingdom of God Within
Click here to view and print Dr. Neal's notes from Saturday morning

Conference 3: The Mission: Bringing the Kingdom of God into the World
Click here to view and print Dr. Neal's notes from Saturday afternoon

Included were opportunities for listening, silent reflection, small group sharing, journaling, singing and making resolutions to establish lifelong habits of faith. The retreat also included a special blessing ceremony for catechumens and candidates and ended with celebration of Mass.

Retreat Director
Thomas J. Neal, Ph.D.
Academic Dean and Chair of Spiritual Theology
Notre Dame Seminar, New Orleans
Blogging at Neal Obstat Theological Opining at

Dr. Tom Neal serves as Professor of Spiritual Theology at Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans, LA. He has a particular passion for exposing the unlimited potential of theology to offer the faithful a deeper sharing in the mind and heart of Jesus Christ. Dr. Neal has worked for twenty years in adult catechesis, retreat ministry and teaching theology in various contexts trying to make present for others the "Word made fresh."

Tom received a Masters in Systematic Theology from Mount St. Mary's University and a PhD in Religion at Florida State University. His Masters studies focused on the Orthodox theology of salvation known as theosis, and his doctoral studies concentrated on the socio-historical contexts within which late medieval mysticism flourished in Spain. His dissertation was on the Teresian Carmelite reform and the construction of ascetical identity in the writings of St. John of the Cross.

While he loves to continue his work on general topics of spiritual theology, especially inasmuch as they relate to priestly formation, Tom has dedicated much of his energy more recently to theological reflection on the vocation and mission of the lay faithful to be "secular saints" whose essential labor is to consecrate the world itself to God by faithfully living out their personal vocations in the world.

Tom, his wife, and four children live in Metairie, LA, and they love being called to be saints among Saints.


Photo Copyright: fergregory / 123RF Stock Photo