A Fr. John A. Hardon, S. J. Day of Recollection

Eva Payne held a Fr. John A. Hardon, S. J. Day of Recollection and here is her explanation of why she did it and how she did:

With the death of Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J. on December 30, 2000, a great void was left for those who reaped the benefits of his guidance. His spiritual gift of setting souls on fire with love for Our Lord would not be replaced.

It was the desire to have Fr. Hardon’s continuing guidance and the desire to share this great treasure with others that led us to consider having a Fr. Hardon Day of Recollection.

It was clearly God’s Providence that the retreats were taped. To quote Fr. Hardon, “I sincerely believe the future in using social communications would include what we’re calling a teleconference retreat. After all, the spirit is independent of space and time. Ideas can be communicated not just across space on earth, but can even penetrate the heavens.” Thank you, Fr. Hardon!

There is an abundance of Fr. Hardon’s talks available that he gave at Retreats and Days of Recollection. After his death, Eva Payne had a Day of Recollection “with Father Hardon”. Father Hardon was the spiritual director. The event was extraordinarily successful. It was amazing to see the very warm personal contact people made with Father. I had in the past made many retreats with Father and Eva’s Day of Recollection left me spiritually in awe.

If you would like to put together a Day of Recollection using Fr. Hardon as your “spiritual director”, contact Eternal Life to get Father’s tapes or CD at 1-800-842-2871 or email them at http://www.lifeeternal.org

Fr. John A. Hardon, S. J. Day of Recollection

Job Descriptions

Person in charge


  • Parish permission for a day of recollection – preferably as a parish event. If not a parish event, is there a cost?
  • Secure dates for both Church and lunchroom
  • Choose the Fr. John A. Hardon, S. J. tape/CD you plan to use. Try out the tapes/CD thoroughly. We used the Eternal Life Spiritual Exercises because the clarity was excellent.
  • Secure the "assisting" priest. What is his fee?

I found it extremely helpful to have a notebook for lists and to keep a log, and to set aside a spot for the notebook and any DOR (Day of Recollection) related materials (keys, fliers, booklets, etc.)

Other responsibilities of person in charge:

  • Choose the tapes (2)
  • Check parish luncheon facilities: Refrigerators (!), tables, chairs, coffee pot, filters, coffee, cream and sugar, number of serving utensils, napkins, cups, plastic silverware.
  • Organist lined up – we felt music was important and gave her lots of prelude requests (10-15 min. before Mass starts) besides hymns (Lenten or traditional) for Mass.
  • Rosary meditations selected and timed
  • Music chosen, copied, and to organist
  • Try out cordless microphone. We used this for leading opening prayers and for the rosary and rosary meditations so that they could be led from the first pew rather than from the altar.
  • Volunteers found (listed later)
  • Pick up / drop off keys
  • Altar boys / sacristan to set up for Mass if necessary (especially to open the safe, key for the tabernacle)
  • Double check to make sure, if necessary, that there is no conflict with church or lunchroom.

Day of:

  • Open / lock: church, sacristy, lunchroom
  • Stick to scheduled times


  • Money, keys dropped off
  • Thank you's written and sent, and payment for priest(s) and organist arranged
  • Set up — possible porters to bring the dishes to the lunchroom. For us this was important — there are many stairs going up to the lunchroom, and it isn't the easiest to find.
  • Set up sign in table:
    Binder, pens,
    Booklets, boxes (2)
    Place for luncheon dishes if "porters" are taking them to the lunchroom


Book sale:

  • Choosing books (selective and controlled)
  • Ordering books
  • Pricing on index cards
  • Setup/pack up
  • Volunteers to sell




Tablecloths, plates (we used purple for Lent), pop, water, water bottles, juice, coffee, coffee filters, cream, sugar, handiwipes, dish soap


Before Day of Recollection:

  • Receive phone calls

Day of:

  • Porters
  • Rosary and meditations, opening prayers
  • Any announcements at lunchtime — specifically price, book sale, thank you, free will offering, suggestion box
  • Sign in table -- give booklet, have attendees sign in
  • Book sale table

Person on Paperwork

  • Create and make copies of posters and fliers. We wanted them in color to get more attention. Kinko's cost would have been very high (!). We used our home ink jet printer, and it didn't use a fraction of the ink we thought it would require. We made hundreds of copies as we needed them.
  • Booklets with schedule, opening prayers, hymns
  • Sign-in binder made up (names and addresses) with pen(s).
  • Any signs needed ("Please sign in", "Free will offering" for booklets and rosaries, etc.)
  • Boxes made up – free will offering box, suggestion box

Publicity Person

  • Bulletin inserts. We started four weeks ahead.
    Week 1: Set aside the date, watch for upcoming information...
    Week 2: Information coming, or give the information – schedule, priest, etc.
    Week 3: Our flier on the cover of the bulletin
    Week 4: Day of Recollection insert
  • Announcements at Mass
  • Bulletin inserts, announcements, fliers, at:
  • Neighboring parishes
    Catholic events (Cardinal Mindzenty Conference, etc.) Places where people know the assisting priest
    Diocesan newspaper
    Local newspaper
    Outside of Adoration Chapels
    Local Marian Catechist newsletter
  • Possible Sign-Up Sunday

Set Up / Clean Up Person

  • Lunchroom (day before): Tables and chairs, plastic tablecloths, plates, cups, and silverware, serving utensils, coffee pot washed
  • Lunchroom (day of): Make coffee
  • Immediately before lunch recruit help to get drinks and serving dishes out of refrigerators and set up. Have the assisting priest lead grace immediately after setup is finished.
  • Announcements following – especially if you want to announce free will offerings, suggestion box, thank you for coming, etc.
  • Working with the tapes/CD’s — On/off, rewound and in proper position, know when to turn over, set of duplicates
  • Need extra tables?


Priests / organist — lunch invitation / looked after
Details important — purple


  • Flier / poster
  • Booklet (schedule, music, opening prayer)
  • Meditations
  • Sign in sheets
  • Pricing for books