Published on January 26th, 2022 | by University Communications


University Ministry hosting Spring Retreat, February 4-6

Faculty and staff are asked to invite students to attend University Ministry’s Spring Retreat, to be held February 4-6. This will be an “in-house retreat,” in which everyone will travel to Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Church in Land O’ Lakes, FL, during the day, then return to Saint Leo at night.

The retreat will begin at 5 p.m., Friday, February 4, and it will conclude at noon, Sunday, February 6. Transportation will be provided. This retreat will cost $20; however, the cost should not be reason for a student not to attend. Students are asked to email Campus Minister Deidre Merrill at to have the fee waived.

Saint Leo’s Spring Retreat will be led by Father Jason Brooks, LC and Mary Beth Connell.

Brooks grew up in Milwaukee, and before joining the Legionaries of Christ in 1994, he attended Ripon College for three years where he played football and studied biology and secondary education. He was ordained a priest at the Church of St. Mary Major in Rome on November 25, 2004. 

After serving in Chicago and Atlanta for the first 12 years of his priesthood, Brooks has presented retreats and developed a healing ministry in Detroit for the past five years. He is enthusiastic about revealing the message and power of Divine Mercy to God’s people, and he also loves to spread devotion to Our Lady of Fatima. He is an avid fan of the Green Bay Packers, Corvettes, and praise and worship music.

Connell is from Atlanta, and she and her husband have two daughters and are expecting a third. She worked as a registered nurse in addiction treatment and acute care before embarking on her next adventure of homeschooling her girls. She is an avid learner of St. John Paul II’s Theology of the Body and seeks to help her brothers and sisters find healing through the power of Divine Mercy.

Saint Leo’s retreat will consist of a series of talks, small groups, community activities, prayer and the sacraments. Students are invited to get away from campus for the weekend and grow in their relationship with the Lord.

Students may sign up here. For more information, contact Merrill at

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