From his childhood in a small Louisiana town where African American altar servers were banned to a vocational call that led to his installation in the Memphis diocese, Bishop J. Terry Steib, S.V.D., has a unique faith story.
Bishop Steib, a Society of the Divine Word priest, will bring his faith journey and 20-plus years as a Tennessee bishop to Denver next month.
The Office of Black Catholic Ministry invited the bishop to lead its annual Black Catholic Retreat March 14-16 at Sacred Heart Retreat House in Sedalia.
To have a prelate lead the weekend is an uncommon opportunity, said office director Mary Leisring.
“It’s rare that we get a bishop to come and do a retreat. That’s why it’s such an honor to have him,” Leisring said.
Bishop Steib will lead the silent retreat—open to everyone—based on the theme “Come, follow me.”
“The retreatants can expect quiet time and prayer time for their own personal encounter with Jesus,” Bishop Steib told the Denver Catholic Register. “It is the retreatants’ time to reflect on our good and gracious God.”
The retreat was rescheduled after he had made an unexpected cancellation last year.
Many who had previously reserved a spot are planning to attend this March’s retreat, Leisring said.
“We will have people coming from out-of-state to participate in the retreat because they know of Bishop Steib,” Leisring said. “A lot of the people that signed-up last year have called me and have said they’re signing up for this year.”
Bishop Steib discerned the priesthood after the Sisters of Mercy of the Cross first catechized him and helped him understand where the Holy Spirit was guiding him.
He wondered if he would work in the sugar fields like his father, he wrote on his diocese’s website. But he had noticed priests who “looked more like they helped people to change their inner-being and helped them to know what is right and wrong.”
He was ordained in 1967 in Mississippi and later was installed as the fourth bishop of Memphis, Tenn., in 1993. He currently serves on the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ African American Affairs subcommittee for Cultural Diversity and on the USCCB Pro-Life Activities Committee. He’s also credited with being instrumental in reopening Catholic schools in the Memphis Diocese and has served on several nonprofit organization boards and USCCB committees.
During the retreat, attendees will hear four talks by the bishop including “Faith in the Lord Jesus,” “Followers of Jesus,” “Kitchen Service/Living Room Intimacy” and “Prayer: Stewing, Reflecting, Praying.”
In between the talks, retreatants will have an opportunity to receive the sacrament of reconciliation, attend a vigil Mass and pray.
Those interested may choose to attend on Saturday only or the entire weekend. For details on the retreat, see the box below.
Annual Black Catholic Retreat
The Diocese of Memphis’ Bishop J. Terry Steib will lead a silent retreat in the Denver Archdiocese.
When: 6:30 p.m. March 14- noon March 16
Where: Sacred Heart Jesuit Retreat House, 4801 N. Highway 67, Sedalia
Deposit: $50, non-refundable
Cost: $75 for Saturday only, or $180 for the weekend
Reservations: contact 303-688-4198 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Information: contact 303-715-3165 or email@example.com