Catholic Messenger article May 2017 St. Thomas More mini-retreat

Retreat-goers embrace ‘prodigal son journey’ – The Catholic Messenger



By Mary Jedlicka Humston
For The Catholic Messenger

“I am moved beyond words by this presentations and fellowship.” “I felt the presence of the Holy Spirit.” “His love of Jesus shined.”

The positive comments kept coming after Bob Colquhoun spoke at the Finding Light in the Darkness Mini-Retreat on April 29 at St. Thomas More Catholic Church in Coralville.

Bob Colquhoun speaks at St. Thomas More-Coralville’s mini-retreat April 29.

Colquhoun held nothing back in telling how far he had fallen from God. As a graduate of Washington High School in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, he was a celebrated varsity swimmer and musician, but he turned away from all that and gradually headed toward a sin-riddled life. His initiation into this world began with marijuana and a deep need to fit in with the “right” clique.

After becoming the lead singer in a rock-and-roll band in Florida, he became heavily involved in the drug world as both an addict and dealer. Continuing with this lifestyle, he abandoned his family. He attempted suicide. He spiraled even deeper when in September 1995 he was arrested as a passenger in a stolen car, charged with theft, and sentenced. He spent the next 7 ½ years in an Arizona prison.

It was there that Colquhoun, of Marion, Iowa, turned his life around and began a “Prodigal Son” journey back to God. He attended and led Bible studies while incarcerated, finding the healing light of God’s love. Once released from prison, Bob eventually began a ministry of speaking and singing. (For more information, go to

As Colquhoun said in his written testimony, “I believe God has called me to tell my story, which I do in both word and song. What else can I do but praise Him for the extraordinary graces I’ve received? Perhaps some might be spared the hell I endured. Perhaps some might come to realize how great a gift it is to love the One who is Love Itself.”

Mary Schepker, one of the three retreat coordinators, says, “On a cold, dark, dreary day…Bob Colquhon was asked to bring retreat participants out of the darkness and into the light. By the time the retreat wrapped up at noon, he had enlightened those present with his amazing story of hope and promise.”

Another coordinator, Karyl McCarty adds, “Bob brought his message to life in word and song. This was a Saturday morning well-spent.” And, still, the retreat participants’ comments continued. “Very powerful story of escaping the darkness and being a light for God’s love.” “He has inspired me to be a better Christian…to strengthen my relationship with Jesus Christ.” “I only wish some of my friends could have heard Bob’s story.”

(Mary Jedlicka Humston, one of the retreat coordinators, has been a St. Thomas More parishioner since 1982.)

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