Andrea was kind enough to invite us on their weekend retreat in February, 2020. The invitation came at such a perfect time for us as we were longing for a time to reconnect with God after a long winter of work projects for Nolan, and a season of spiritual dryness for me as I navigated home life with our two young boys. We were so hungry for this opportunity, and prayerfully began to discern what God wanted to reveal to us that weekend.
The weekend was a beautiful, never ending, encounter with God’s grace, through adoration, sincere conversations with other retreatants, and engaging talks by their staff. Before we left on Sunday, Adam pulled us aside and was talking to us about how great it would be for Saint Mary’s to have this opportunity. Nolan and I felt very convicted that God was asking us at that moment to bring this home to our parish.
So the planning began as Father Eric, Father Peter and Vicki Noeker were just as enthusiastic as we were. We booked a weekend at the Bethany House, discerned a retreat team, and prayed about what God wanted to accomplish. The MHT staff was generous to answer any questions we had along the way and share with us their weekend outline to give us an idea of how to work the weekend. With Covid, it was extremely difficult to get the word out and to assure the parishioners that it would be a safe weekend as well since masks will be worn and social distancing enforced. Although it took some extra effort to reach out to people, and at many points it just didn’t seem like the weekend was going to actually happen, we still felt this confidence that God was going to fight for us and make the weekend happen, as well as bear countless fruit.
And that He did! The weekend was excellent as God’s presence was truly felt by our team and retreatants. It was amazing to see how He worked through our speakers, prayer teams, sacraments, and small groups. We are always taken aback when reflecting on the weekend because it is so clear how the Holy Spirit was touching hearts and reaffirming sonship and daughterhood to those attending. Many of us on the retreat agreed that it was a very well needed weekend after such a challenging year.
We are extremely humbled that God worked through us to accomplish Saint Mary’s retreat. It has strengthened our faith superbly to see Him enliven hearts, including our own. We are so grateful for the support we received from Most Holy Trinity Parish, and we strongly recommend their upcoming retreat weekend. We pray for all of you as we know God’s generosity won’t disappoint.