We came, we saw, we were blessed!
The idea of recapping Saturday’s Everyday Missionaries retreat is a little overwhelming because it was so much goodness! But, here are a few highlights, just in case you missed it:
Jeannette and I shared a great Friday afternoon, filled with a few muffins and lots of coffee! Sure, we caught up on life, but we also chatted about some upcoming plans for the Everyday Missionaries community – stay tuned!
The women of St. Peter’s Altar Society were amazing hosts for the day.
We got started with coffee and a time of prayer and music led by our own Angela McCann. If you haven’t met Angela before, you need to come to our next retreat! We were so grateful to have her with us for the day, to share her beautiful voice and joyful spirit.
Next up, our dear friend, Fr. Jason Gootee hopped over the Rapides Parish line to join us for the morning. Fr. Jason has is a priest with the Diocese of Alexandria, currently serving as pastor of St. Frances de Sales in Echo. He has journed with a few of the Everyday Missionaries gals as campus minister at Holy Savior Menard High, associate at St. Francis Xavier Cathedral, and chaplain at Northwestern State University in Natchitoches.
Fr. Jason shared a good portion of the morning sharing with us about God’s mercy, forgiveness, and healing. But, what I loved about the morning is that he didn’t simply teach us about forgiveness and healing, but shared multiple stories of encountering God in daily life – how God’s healing can meet us wherever we are, we simply need to open ourselves to His voice.
We also got to hear about Fr. Jason’s family, namely his father and step-mother, Jim and Christy Gootee. Jim and Christy have a ministry called Two Hearts Gospel Ministry, and serve the Church through multiple healing retreats throughout the year.
After a lot of tears, laughter, and prayer time, we were hungry! The women of St. Peter’s Altar Society served us an amazing lunch, giving us time to take catch up with family, and meet new friends from as far away as Baton Rouge! The Everyday Missionaries gals are so grateful for all of you driving so far to spend the day with us.
After lunch, we were joined by three other priests, including Fr. Jared Suire, Fr Toom Voorhees and Fr Mike Guidry, for Adoration and Confession. Priests from the Dioceses of Alexandria and Lafayette have joined us for retreats over the years, and they have blessed us tremendously! They minister to us through prayer, Sacraments, so many laughs, and so much brotherly love. Seriously, those guys.
What would the day be like without some good conversation time? As a group, we talked about what healing means to us, what areas we as women might need healing in, and why we need healing to begin with. We were so impressed by all of your responses, and so enjoyed seeing all of you get to pour into each other with words of encouragement and prayer.
We had a special guest join us to close the afternoon session by sharing her family’s testimony. Kayla Berken shared how her family has witnessed God move them out of their comfort zones into healing and reliance on Him, through the birth and healing of their youngest daughter. Through a roller coaster birth story and months in the NICU, Kayla shared how God has repeatedly strengthened her and her family’s faith, and used them to witness His love to countless other families. Kayla continues to witness to God’s love through the newly formed NICU Moms of Louisiana, and by sharing her family’s story with women like us.
Finally, the gals got to wrap up by sharing a few of the ways that we live out our faith in our everyday lives. Jeannettee, Leslie, and I got to share just a few of the ways that we bring our faith into action in our daily lives, including real, down-to-earth friends, simple daily prayer time with our families, music, artwork, and daily devotions We can only hope that we can encourage you to incorporate your faith into your family’s daily lives through the simplest acts of trust and obedience.
That’s a wrap! We had an amazing day with all of you and can’t wait to see you again! Several of you asked about having the gals out to your parish this 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.
Fr. Jason was also very generous in offering his parents’ book, as well as one on one meetings with anyone who felt they might need it. If you wanted a copy of the book but didn’t receive it, please call Jim Gootee at 318-640-5172. If you wanted to go to confession or schedule some time of healing prayer with Fr. Jason, please send us an email at email@example.com, and we’ll get you connected.
See you all again soon!