2018 SISTER’s Retreat – Simplify Your Life
By Jeannie Wood
On the weekend of March 2-4, thirty-one women from our parish came together at Mount Claret Renewal Center for the annual SISTERs Retreat. This year we were truly blessed to have the founder of SISTERs, Judy Rogers, share her knowledge and talents and lead the program. The theme was “Simplify Your Life” and it was well received by women who may take care of many people or have too many tasks on their to-do lists.
Through prayer, meditation and honest conversation Judy challenged us to think about our goals and what drives us as well as how we can reduce stress and focus on what is important. We broke into groups and had open discussions on our lives and what is in our hearts and souls. We discovered that by eliminating or reducing some of the unnecessary noise in our lives we can open up more space within us to focus on what is meaningful. This ultimately can lead us to a life of honest intentions as we try our very best to live our lives as good Christian women.
A highlight of the weekend was on the last evening when Judy went through the story of Moses, Pharaoh and the 10 Plagues from Exodus and then explained and walked us through a Seder/Holy Thursday service.
We also offered up prayers and intentions for those in our lives, and those who have passed, in a very special way. We started with a poster of a bare tree on the wall. In a basket were hearts of various sizes and colors that would be used as the leaves of the tree. Throughout the weekend women added names of those they were praying for to a heart and added it to the tree. By the end of the weekend we had a beautiful tree with branches overflowing with our prayers.
Mt. Claret is a very spiritual and beautiful facility and it was the perfect setting for our theme of peace and simplicity.
The retreat was a special time of prayer and spiritual growth as well as an opportunity to bond and share with the wonderful women of our parish. There was a lot of laughter and even a fair amount of tears. But throughout the weekend you could feel the love, camaraderie and mutual trust between the women. Some of us knew each other for many years and some of us were strangers at the beginning. But there were no strangers by the end as we sat together and one-by-one shared our feelings on the weekend.
If you have never attended a women’s retreat I invite you to think about attending next year. One of the best benefits of sharing this experience with our sisters in the parish is seeing your new friends at mass or a church activity and knowing that you have formed a bond that will never be broken.
Thank you again to Judy Rogers and to all the ladies who attended. We look forward to seeing you and more at the next SISTERs Retreat.
April 11, 2018