Guest Speakers

Special Guest Speakers

Frhaydu Web1 924x600Preacher in Residence: Fr Mark Haydu, LC

February 27-March 3, 2019

Award winning author, art historian and former International Coordinator of the Patrons of the Arts in the Vatican Museum will be our Preacher in Residence for three upcoming events. 

Fr. Mark Haydu will preach at the Women's Mini-Retreats in March!

Celebrated author, art historian/conservationist and beloved preacher, Fr. Mark Haydu, will lead this month's Mini-Retreats for Women.

This month's topic will be: Art, Beauty & Relationships: Exploring the Instruments of the Master
Beauty surrounds us in nature, in the people we serve, in the smallest details shared by someone who loves us. If we learn to look with the eye of an artist, we can learn to see the love of our Creator in every face.

Each Mini Retreat includes: Mass, Talks, Time for Personal Prayer and a Meal.

Cost to attend: $20 per person


Evening Mini-Retreat: February 27, 2019

  • Time: 7:00-9:30 pm


Morning Mini-Retreat: February 28, 2019

  • Time: 9:45-noon, followed by lunch


February 28, 2019
Time: 7:30-9:30pm

$30 per person


As Director of the International Patrons of the Arts of the Vatican Museums, Fr. Mark Haydu had the rare opportunity to spend countless hours absorbing the rich spirituality of masters such as Michelangelo, Raphael, Ghirlandaio, and more. This experience inspired him to write Meditations on Vatican Art.  Whether or not you are one of the millions who visit the Vatican Museums every year, an evening with Fr. Mark Haydu will give you a new understanding of the grace and inspirations that can be found in sacred art and how it can bring you a deeper experience of God.

Join us for an evening of inspiration and education as he reveals some of the details and stories behind many of the works included in the Vatican's collection of masterpieces.

Register Now!
Click the button below to register for the event, and even pre-pay for books to be personalized that night!


Regstration fee: $30 per person

Special Event Book Pricing

Haydu vatican art  Haydu angels
Select the option to pre-pay for copies of books and recieve discounted pricing! See the registrtion form for more details.


Schedule for the evening:

  • 7:30-8:00 Welcome reception
  • 8:00-8:45 Fr. Mark's presentaton: Art, Beauty and the Creator
  • 8:45-9:30 Reception to follow. Get your copy of his award winning book personlized.

Fr Mark Haydu, LC started his journey in Akron, OH being born the sixth child and fourth boy on July 15, 1972. As an active member of the charismatic renewal Fr Mark went to the Franciscan University of Steubenville followed by a year of missionary work in Antigua, Guatemala and Reynosa, Mexico. He entered the novitiate in Cheshire, CT in 1993, and finished his Humanities degree there in 1996 where he first began to fall in love with Art and History. After two years of Philosophical studies in Rome, he did four years of apostolic internship in Salamanca, Spain, Dublin, Ireland, and Cheshire, CT. Fr Mark returned to Rome to get a master’s degree in Philosophy with a thesis on moral legislation, and then began his Theology studies in 2004, until he was ordained a priest on December 22, 2007. That same year in October, Fr Mark became the Director of the Patrons of the Arts of the Vatican Museums, a position he held until June 15, 2015. During that time, he finished a License in Moral Theology focused on the effects of cohabitation on marital happiness and perseverance. He also published two award winning art books in a series Meditations on Vatican Art. Fr Mark enjoyed being a spiritual director for the legionary seminarians and consecrated women of Regnum Christi while in Rome. He is currently assigned to the NY Tri-State area working as National Chaplain of Lumen Institute. He enjoys sports, playing guitar, reading and writing.

Fr. Mark Haydu is the author of the series Meditations on Vatican Art! Both books are currently available for purchase in our bookstore and will be available during all of the above events.

Meditations on Vatican Art

Haydu vatican art

Meditations on Vatican Art allows you to deepen your relationship with God as you reflect on art from the Vatican collections and pray the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises. Fr. Mark Haydu, International Coordinator of the Patrons of the Arts in the Vatican Museums, serves as the spiritual guide for this exquisite collection of art, contemplation, and prayer. The book follows the four categories of the Ignatian Exercises: 1) Creation, 2) Sin, 3) Jesus Christ, and 4) Resurrection.

Each day of prayer includes: Vatican Art image with a poetic overview and short descriptive background information about the art Scripture passage Reflection on the art image and scripture passage Concluding prayer Reflective questions for the reader to ponder or use as writing prompts 

Create your own retreat with these 28 days of prayer or feast on their beauty as time allows. A rich treasury of art and spirituality for all those seeking to grow in their experience of God.


Meditations on Vatican Art: Angels

Haydu angelsOpen your heart to the presence of angels, God’s holy messengers and protectors. In Meditations on Vatican Art: Angels, you can reflect on stunning depictions from the Vatican Museums and contemplate angelic encounters in Scripture.

Following his acclaimed first book, Fr. Mark Haydu, international coordinator of the Patrons of the Arts of the Vatican Museums, serves once again as your spiritual guide for a breathtaking journey through time, meditation, and the Vatican art collections.

Meditations on Vatican Art: Angels offers you a deeper understanding of your own spiritual journey as you follow Fr. Haydu’s explanation of the battle between the fallen angels and the faithful angels and God sending His angels to watch over you. The book’s splendid reproductions of major works represent ancient through contemporary periods in art.


Each day’s meditation includes a:

·      Unique image with descriptive and contextual background about the artist and the work

·      Relevant and insightful passage from Scripture 

·      Reflection on the meaning of the work with questions to ponder

Contemplate the 34 meditations in this hardbound book as the Holy Spirit inspires or use them to create a retreat for yourself or a group. Let Meditations on Vatican Art: Angels open your heart and help you become aware of angels’ existence and their desire to keep you from harm and guide you to God.


Our Lady of Bethesda periodically hosts Special Guest speakers and workshops addressing current issues in the culture and facilitating an understanding of the teachings of the Catholic Church, especially those regarding marriage and the family.  Some of our past speakers include:

  • Fr. Jacques Phillipe
  • Fr. John Bartunek, LC
  • Jennifer Ristine
  • Ryan Anderson
  • Steve Wagner
  • Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse
  • Fr. Emmerich Vogt, OP
  • Bill Bennett
  • William Peter Blatty
  • Fr. Benedict Groeschel, CFR
  • Senator & Mrs. Rick Santorum
  • George Weigel