Words of Wisdom

Postponed to February, 29th, 2020

A Words of Wisdom Retreat is an opportunity to learn from a master by reading his or her book and coming together with people from around the diocese for a day-long retreat to unpack the book. What sets this event apart from other “study-type” events is an emphasis on wisdom, which is the application of knowledge or understanding to your life. You will be informed by the knowledge gained from the book and transformed by the retreat’s emphasis on applying that knowledge to your life. Dr. Chris will offer some teaching on the book and lead a time of discussion answering the questions “What does this book mean?” and “Why does it matter?” There will also be an opportunity to spend time in prayer with our Lord, talking to Him about the things that struck you during your reading and the discussion. Our desire is that you will recognize how the things that stirred your heart can transform your own life, bringing you closer to Jesus Christ.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Register. Scroll down to the Tickets box to register.
  2. Get the book. It’s easy to find online, but if you like the human connection, we highly recommend you visit the Mustard Seed Catholic Store in Sioux Falls.
  3. Download the Reading Guide. Chris has created a free guide to help you process what you are reading and prepare for the retreat. Scroll down to get the guide.
  4. Read the book. Follow the reading schedule and answer the questions in the guide as you read.
  5. Pray about it. Pay attention to how the Lord stirs your heart as you read and reflect.  Ask Him what He wants you to take away from the book.
  6. Go to the retreat.  Join others for a day of teaching, discussion, and prayer.
  7. Live it out. Take what you have learned and apply it to your life.

The Book:

The book  we are studying for this retreat is Who Am I to Judge?: Responding to Relativism with Logic and Love by Edward Sri. He is a theologian, author and well-known Catholic speaker as well as the Vice President of Formation for FOCUS and a Professor of Theology at the Augustine Institute. Because he is a studied theologian and a gifted teacher, Sri is able to write about aspects of our faith in a way that is relatable for both scholars and the average Catholic.  He is able to present the content in a way that is easy to grasp without watering it down.

As Catholics, we can often be accused of being judgemental, intolerant, or even hateful when trying to share the truth about our faith, an absolute truth that applies to everyone. The idea that there is no absolute truth, that truth is decided by and applied to each individual is known as Relativism. It is a widely accepted idea in our culture, and while it can seem attractive for a number of reasons, it is actually quite harmful for both the individual and society as a whole. So how do we lovingly share the truth with those who believe that there is no such thing as truth, especially those who think that we are hateful, judgemental and intolerant because we reject the practice of Relativism? 

In Who Am I to Judge?, Sri dives into these clashing worldviews and explains that there actually is an ultimate truth and how living intentionally within it frees us and leads us to happiness. In the second half of the book, Sri shares seven key concepts that help us respond effectively and lovingly to the people in our lives who have adopted Relativism as a part of their worldview. 

Reading Guide:

Download the Reading Guide for Dr. Sri’s book Who Am I to Judge?.


Retreat Details:

  • Date: January 18, 2020 – 9 am to 4 pm
  • Location: Abbey of the Hills near Marvin SD (abbeyofthehills.org, 605-398-9200)
  • Lunch will be provided. If you have special dietary needs, please indicate that on the registration form and we will do our best to accommodate. 
  • Please bring the following: the book, the reading guide, a notebook and pen, and a Bible.
  • Dress Code: Casual and Modest. Remember to dress in layers for your own comfort. We don’t have control of the temperature in the room whether hot or cold.


If you would like to skip the early morning commute to the retreat center, you are welcome to come the evening before.  Chris will be there to host an informal time of fellowship. Please contact the retreat center to reserve your room.