Retreats and programs

zIs What I am Doing Agreeable to God? The Inspiring Lives (and Deaths) of Three Catholics in Nazi Germany


Was there ever a more dramatic time period than that of Nazi Germany? Humanity still wrestles with the ramifications of the Third Reich; even today we see signs that Hitler’s ruin did not stamp out humanity’s worst inclinations toward hate and prejudice. As Christians, we turn to the Holy Trinity to restore our faith and peace. As Catholics, we turn to the examples of holy women and men who have gone before us. In this workshop, we will learn from three Catholics who were caught in the grip of Nazi oppression and who were recognized by the Church as martyrs of the 20th century.

  • Saint Edith Stein—Sister Teresa Benedicta of the Cross: the remarkable Carmelite nun and philosophy scholar, murdered by the Nazis because she was a Jew.
  • Blessed Franz Jägerstätter: a humble man, a simple farmer, who loved his family and his Church; he sacrificed his life rather than submit to the Nazi demand that he join their Army. 
  • Servant of God Willi Graf: member of the White Rose, the resistance group made up of a few university students and one professor, he defied the Nazi regime using non-violent means, motivated by his love of Jesus and of the Catholic Church.

What do their lives and deaths mean to us today?


This is a 1.5-hour retreat on Zoom that includes dialogue and group discussion; there are no refunds issued after the Zoom link is provided. Retreat materials and the Zoom login information will not be provided until 5 business days prior to an event.



Dr. Deborah Lee Prescott is a Professor Emerita of English who has had years of experience teaching literature, writing, and cinema.

Lee’s life-long interest in the Holocaust resulted in many articles, classes, presentations, and a book, Imagery from Genesis in Holocaust MemoirsA Critical Study (McFarland Publishing). In the book, she explored the theological implications arising from Scriptural allusions made by survivors in their autobiographies. She co-authored the successful play, TAKEN AWAY; the one-act drama for young people examines the corrosive effect of prejudice and hate in pre-war Nazi Germany. She has written a Middle Grade novel inspired by the play’s characters and circumstances. She has four published children’s picture books about her pets (Taylor and Seale Publishing). Lee and her playwriting colleague have co-created a new play about those pets, which will be performed this Spring for elementary school students: A MITZVAH FOR DAISY.

Lee is an Auxiliary of the Cenacle. She has given a variety of workshops on writing, as well as on the spirituality of books and cinema, at the Cenacle and to numerous church groups. 

January 26, 2022
Facilitated by: Dr. Deborah Lee Prescott
10:00 AM Central

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