The 4th Annual Rejoice Women's Retreat was held from Friday, November 30 through Sunday, December 2 at 2:00pm at the Lindenwood Retreat and Conference Center in Donaldson. Mary Healy, professor of Sacred Scripture at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit and an international speaker spoke on topics related to Scripture, evangelization, healing, and the spiritual life.
By Cindy Black
“You all have gifts God has given you that are needed by a world where faith is decreasing” Sister Ann Shields of Renewal Ministries exhorted 134 women from 35 parishes who gathered at Lindenwood Center at Donaldson for the Rejoice Women’s retreat. This third annual advent retreat was co-organized by Jan Torma, Carol Miller, Nancy McCue in South Bend and Mary Glowaski and Cecilia Aguilar-Tussey, both of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend.
Sister Ann encouraged each woman to read (aloud if possible) 1 Peter 1:3-9 every day during Advent so that we are convicted and transformed by God’s word. Between Sister Ann’s enamoring reflections, retreatants sang worship songs, prayed, went to confession, and socialized.
On Saturday night, Bishop Kevin Rhoades led Eucharistic Adoration with a theologically deep lectio divina of the prologue of Saint John’s Gospel, including John 1:14 which Bishop said is “the most important verse in the entire Bible.”
Leading us on the rosary prayer. Left to right: Carol Miller - St. Matthew Cathedral, Rebecca Laurent - St. Jude, SB, Eileen Byrne - Sacred Heart, Crypt (ND), Jean Shaw - Sacred Heart of Jesus, Lakeville and Judy Finkler - St. Jude, SB
By Stephanie A. Patka
Standing at the registration table of the second annual Rejoice! Women's Retreat seemed more like a family reunion than women checking in for a religious conference. Women from 31 parishes around the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, totaling 112, arrived at Lindenwood Retreat Center on Dec. 2 for a weekend retreat to grow in their spiritual life, to be strengthened, encouraged, to reconnect with the Lord on a deeper level and to cultivate a greater love for Mary.
"I was really gratified with the way in which the women came to this retreat, they were happy to be here, joyful and so eager. They were here, ready to sit at the feet of Jesus,â€ said retreat organizer Jan Torma. She reported that at least half of the women attending had come to the first retreat last year with the speaker Sister Ann Shields.
Upon recommendation of Sister Ann, nationally renowed speaker and founder of Be Love Revolution, Debbie Herbeck shared her own conversion story from Judaism to Catholicism. Herbeck spoke about her experience to show "just how merciful God has been to me in my own life.â€ She told retreat participants that "there is nothing that you do to make God love you more and there is nothing that you can do to make Him love you less.â€
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