Narragansett, RI – The oceanside Christian Brothers Center in Narragansett, RI was once again the location for DENA’s annual Women’s Retreat. In its fifth year, this retreat has offered women the opportunity to reflect upon their role in the Lasallian mission as called for and inspired by Circular 461 Association for the Lasallian Mission: An Act of Hope. This Circular, is a rich document that calls for Lasallians to spend time “together and by association” to reflect upon how the call to association is lived out in their lives.
The women participants were very diverse with ages spanning over seven decades, hundreds of years of dedication to the Lasallian mission and represented four DENA ministry types and the Lasallian Volunteer program.
This year, the focus theme was based on the Gospel reading for the Sunday of the retreat. The Gospel story of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead provided the foundation for the participates to consider what is “bound, wrapped and lies lifeless in the caves of one’s life and is need of the healing, life-giving and restorative presence of Jesus so that the words “Roll Away the Stone!” might truly be one of hope and rebirth. It was a wonderful reflective theme in particular during the season of Lent.
The retreat team consisted of Brother Vincent Pelletier (Christian Brothers Center), Nancy Lyon (Ocean Tides School), Brother Ed Phelan (DENA), and Maryann Donohue-Lynch (DENA).
Please read the following reflections by some of the participants…
This time together has been a tremendous gift of allowing me to shift my focus from businesses to calm and quiet. It has been such a blessing and I praise God that I did no cancel because of my work load! I have been able to find so much beauty in the quiet. Thank you! (Confidential)
The gift of this retreat was to help me slowdown in my life, bond with amazing, bright and loving women and two Brothers who are tapping into their Lasallian spirituality. It provided me with a consciousness of awaking and first steps toward solving problems and removing obstacles from my life, so I can in turn, serve others with more passion and zeal. Specifically, it was a time to “turn in” and “tune in” to my own needs, to recharge my batteries to be stronger for others. It provided and opportunity for us to celebrate with each other! Introspective and Reflective! Than you God for this time! (Confidential)
The gift of this time is the beginning of a new chapter in my life. I’ve enjoyed opening myself up a little bit more and I hope to be able to continue to grow and do this. I like hearing again that I need to “listen” in order to discover the answers to my prayers. I’ve enjoyed the silent time, its ok to have silence and just maybe during that silence answers will come. Thank you. (Confidential)
Greetings DENA Lasallian Women and the Brother’s who support this mission. Last weekend was a humbling experience and I feel spiritually renewed. I thank God for the pleasure of being in your company and for your words of inspiration, and encouragement. May God continue to bless you and keep you in his loving care. Until we meet again. (RB)
How wonderful to connect our spirits with the spirit of St. John Baptist de la Salle (and of course, his mother, Nicole!) and ultimately with God. I am inspired coming home and moving into the next phase of my life. I hope to return next year. Thank you all! (CW)