The Story of My First Demontreville Retreat in Lake Elmo, Minnesota

Father Sthokal passed away this week on August 11th, 2020. He will be missed and never forgotten by the thousands of men who passed through Demontreville over the years that Father Ed was there. Such a remarkable man. This story deals with my first retreat and my first meeting with Father Sthokal way back in 1986. I have since completed 37 retreats.

Aging Capriciously


34 years ago, I made my first retreat at Demontreville.  Demontreville is a Jesuit Retreat Center in Lake Elmo Minnesota.  I was not a Jesuit or even a practicing Catholic when I made my first retreat.  In fact, I hailed myself as an atheist or sometimes an agnostic.  I like agnosticism since it is a “just in case” religion.   Just in case there is a heaven, hell, devil or god, I can always claim that I did not totally disavow him/her.  This might give me a chance to get by the pearly gates.  Anyway, I did not go to Demontreville for the religious experience.

WintertrailIt was January of 1986.  I had finished all my course work for my Ph.D. degree.  It had already been a long and cold and snowy Minnesota winter.  I had finally collected all the data I needed to finish my dissertation.  Four years in school, working…

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Kris Kuenzi
    Aug 17, 2020 @ 10:12:33

    hay stranger i was just thinking about fredrics treasure… just came to my head,. my son passed away due to major health conditions so ive been trying to find things to do with my mind and keep my thoughts busy…..

    do you still have the map and the riddle?

    if you do can you resend it to me

    thanks so much




    • Dr. John Persico Jr.
      Aug 17, 2020 @ 13:01:58

      Kris, I am very sorry to hear about the death of your son. Do you have an obituary or short bio that you can send me about him. I feel like I would like to know him better. I should have made more effort to reach out to you both when he was still with you. The blog I wrote is at: Funny, I cannot find the original map anymore or the book that I found it in. I looked high and low and they just seem to have disappeared. We have too much stuff and we need to downsize. John. Persico. My email address is 612-310-3803.



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