Father Pablo Straub, OCR
This weekend I attended the Mass of the Archangels event at St. Michaels Catholic Church in St. Michael, Minnesota on the Feast of the Archangels. With all the Michaels mentioned how could I refuse?
Very good retreat. All of the speakers were very good.
However, I was really touched by Father Pablo Straub. I have to admit, I had never heard of him before this retreat. He spoke Friday evening and he closed the retreat on Saturday.
He's really a powerful public speaker and witness to Christ. He spoke about the Virgin Mary during both of his talks. He emphasized her powerful intercessory powers. He also spoke about the founder of his order: St. Alphonsus Liguori. I'm a huge fan of St. Alphonsus so I really enjoyed how Father incorporated St. Alphonsus' devotion to Mary in his talk.
Father literally carries his cross during his speeches. He holds the cross similar to the way St. Therese of the Child Jesus is usually depicted holding hers-over the shoulder facing forward.
He opened with prayer and clearly has a great devotion to the Blessed Sacrament as well as Our Lady by his physical actions. He struggled to kneel before the Tabernacle but he did it. When I see the elderly or infirm making a great effort to kneel before Christ, I wonder why so many of our young and able bodied complain about kneeling before the Lord because it's too hard and too painful (whine, whine).
A lot of people took advantage of the Sacrament of Confession during the retreat (Praise God!). Myself included. I estimate that the priests (there were 4 at various times) heard at least 150 Confessions.
Father Straub was in the Confessional for 2 hours and then had to leave to get ready for his last talk. It turned out the Divine Mercy Chaplet was sung and that takes longer then the recitation. Father realized he had some extra time so he went right back into the Confessional. The crowd waited while he gave Absolution to one of our Members of Christ's Body.
Father strikes me as a very holy man. Completely unpretentious. He was walking around, shaking hands, smiling, greeting everyone. He even smiled at and greeted me with a warm: "Hello" when he saw me in the corridor.
Count me as a member of the Father Pablo Straub fan club.