For Everyday Missionaries, June 8-10, 2017 was packed full retreats with guest speakers and blog posts by dear friends. There was so much goodness to be had over the course of a few short days! If you missed it, we hope you’ll plan to join us this October for a viewing of Fr Ublad’s documentary entitled Forgivness: The Secret of Peace, in January 2018 for Morrow’s annual women’s retreat, and/ or in October 2018 for our 1st conference to be hosted in the Diocese of Alexandria! Be sure to jot those dates down and keep reading now for just a few highlights from our day at Immaculate Conception in sweet Dupont, LA:
First, the area of Dupont is so sweet, and we are grateful that they opened their parish and community to us.
We started the day with coffee, treats, and community, hosted by the Immaculate Conception Altar Society. Having the time to simply be with each other – catch up with dear friends and meet some new faces – is a need, dear friend. If you met some new friends at any of the Everyday Missionaries June retreats, please make an effort to touch base soon just to catch up and encourage one another. It will do your soul so much good!
Then, we dove right in! We were blessed to have two amazing Dominican sisters with us, to share their knowledge, their experience, and their simple presence. We like to multitask, don’t we? But, there’s something so different when we take the time to get to know one person at a time. To look directly at them, and spend time in simple conversation. And, that’s exactly what I saw Sr. Mary Madeline Todd and Sr. Mary Michael Fox do time and again.
We all need such healing – from the brokenness of humanity, to things we experienced early in life, to pits of sin and shame that we freely jump into ourselves. This was the big topic we gals were trying to tackle over the course of a few days. Because, oh, how difficult it is to be an everyday missionary in our own mission fields if we’re wounded ourselves. Sr. Mary Madeline and Sr. Mary Michael took this possibly overwhelming topic, and reminded us that healing begins by simply turning to Jesus each day for our healing, our nourishment, and our marching orders. It all begins and ends with Him.
When we approach healing, it’s so important to recognize our own faults and failures in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. We gals are so grateful for our priests! Four priests joined us for a time of Adoration, prayer, and confession. If you haven’t taken the time to get to know your own parish priest, do it this summer! Take a minute to introduce yourself, send a card or email, and let him know you’re praying for him.
After lunch, Jeannette led us through a guided session on healing and prayer in our everyday lives. Here at Everyday Missionaries, we are mamas, grandmamas, sisters, friends. It can be easier to carry the load of taking care of others than it is to tend to our own brokenness. Jeannette reminded us that Jesus gently calls us to let Him mend our wounds, bringing healing, forgiveness, and freedom into every nook of our lives. She then gave each of us a shiny, red jewel to remind us that His love has washed us clean. This song by Natalie Grant really brought the message home.
As a group, we carried on with some blessed conversation time. We talked about what healing means to us, what distracts us from bringing our afflictions to Jesus, and what one or two practical things we can do to make daily prayer time a priority. We were so encouraged to see the women of Dupont pouring into each other, listening to each other, and praying for one another!
We closed the day by having a dear friend join us to share some of her knowledge, experience, and prayer with us. Emily Ann McCullough joined us for the last session of the day, sharing specifically about healing in the womb. The Church is such a caring parent for us, teaching that from the moment of conception, the adventure of life begins (Cardinal Ratzinger). Emily Ann shared with us how God can take every memory, even from the very beginning of our lives, and heal us of any pain, leaving us with peace and trust.
One thing I will always remember Emily Ann telling me years ago is that God can bring more good out of a bad or painful situation than if it had never happened at all. Did you know that? Did you know that, because God is so “supremely good, He would never allow any evil whatsoever to exist in his works if he were not so all-powerful and good as to cause good to emerge from evil itself.” If, for whatever reason, you’re lacking hope today, take a look at some of the things the Church has to say about the good that God brings, even out of hopeless situations.. Print it out, tape it up on your bathroom mirror, soak it up.
“The victory that Christ won over sin has given us greater blessings than those which sin had taken from us: “where sin increased, grace abounded all the more.” (Romans 5:20)
After such a big day, we got to wrap up by sharing just a few ways that we live out our faith in our everyday lives, and closed the day with the parish family at Mass.
That’s a wrap! We had an amazing weekend with all of you and can’t wait to see you again! Several of you asked about having the gals out to your parish later in the year. If that was you, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll talk about what you might have in mind and how we can go about scheduling the day for you.
See you all again soon!
Click here for a recap of Sister Mary Madeline’s talk.
Click here for a recap of our time in Washington, Eunice and Alexandria click here.