“It has been more than I expected. I am just blown away,” said Tara Lane of her first Providence Associate retreat at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods. Since October, Tara has been studying elements of the spirituality of the Sisters of Providence as a candidate-associate. She joined 47 other Providence Associates, candidate-associates and Sisters of Providence in attending the Saint Mother Theodore Guerin spring retreat from March 7-9, 2014.
Participants learned about Mother Theodore’s life and virtues and spent time in prayer. “Just to be around the atmosphere and the wholeness of the Woods is really great. And this involved a depth of spirituality I didn’t expect. It has been really awesome,” Tara said. “I come here and I feel so much peace. The retreat helped me to realize the sacrifice that this place is built on.” She said she found it very humbling.
Here we share some photos from the weekend retreat. The Providence Associate relationship is open to women and men 18 years of age or older who want walk more closely with the Sisters of Providence and share in their mission.
The decorative prayer space for the Saint Mother Theodore Guerin retreat included not only a statue of the saint, but also a pair of shoes she really wore.
The first group begins a vigil with Saint Mother Theodore to last through the night in continual prayer.
The vigil to be kept at Saint Mother Theodore’s tomb throughout the night on Saturday begins.
“Saint Mother Theodore Guerin” makes a surprise appearance at the start of the vigil on Saturday evening.
Sisters and associates join hands in prayer during the mass on Saturday.
It can be hard for a mommy of a young baby to get away for retreat, so Tracy Green brought her family with her. Here Tracy, left, and her husband look on as their two young daughters entertain Sisters Joan Matthews and Tracy’s associate companion Sister Rosemary Eyler.
Suzie Ray, Kyle Meadors and Donna Kehoe have an animated meal conversation.
Associates Kitty Odle and Anne Shoup participate in a prayer journaling exercise.
Candidate-associate Suzie Ray and Associate Earle Harvey do some reflective writing.
Providence Associate companions Sisters Margaret Quinlan and Rosemary Eyler pray with gathered associates during the retreat.
Providence Associate Jennifer Nowalk participates in an activity journaling with Saint Mother Theodore.
Sister Sharon Richards, front, and other associate retreatants during a prayer time.
Associates Marilyn Webb, Mel Wolff and Donna Kehoe have a good time catching up with each other during the retreat.
A walk through the woods is where this retreatant spends her spiritual reflective time.
Retreatant Millie Brady spends her quiet reflection time in front of the Eucharist in Owens Chapel.
Associate Kathleen Morris gets comfy and spends some time in meditative prayer during individual reflection time.
Associate Marilyn Neuman finds a comfortable place to pray during an individual reflection time.
Archivist Sister Marianne Mader talks to the group about Saint Mother Theodore’s journal.
Retreat participants Jenny Nowalk and Marilyn Webb place their rocks near the statue of Saint Mother Theodore during the morning prayer section. Associate Bill Hughes awaits his turn.
Associate Phil Brady reflects with a rock as part of the Saturday morning prayer.
Providence Associate Beth Kyle and Sister Rosemary Eyler choose a time to keep vigil through the night at the shrine of Saint Mother Theodore.
These gals were a hoot! Retreat coordinators Sisters Jan Craven, left, and Paula Damiano, right, both of Providence Spirituality and Conference Center, with Director of Associates Sister Diane Mason.
The retreat included time for camaraderie with friends new and old. Here candidate-associate Chuck Fisher laughs with associates Sheila Donis and Peggy Balensuela.
On display was Saint Mother Theodore’s original journal, in her own handwriting.