Following the Path ─ YES!

Ten women responded to an invitation and attended the first Following the Path – Vocation Discernment Retreat held this past weekend at Mount St. Benedict Monastery. Paula shared, “I have been a seeker for a long time. I keep looking for what will stretch me to be the person I am called to be.”

The retreat opened on the Feast of Benedict with Evening Praise. The women then joined the community, along with its Oblates and guests, for a festive dinner. After the meal, and all day Saturday, Sister Joan Chittister engaged the women in an exploration of the text of her book, Following the Path: The Search for a Life of Passion, Purpose, and Joy. Sister Joan was clear: “Deciding what we must do to be happy ourselves so that we can be a gift to the world around us is the central question of life.”

The women came from 7 states: Maryland, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin and ranged in ages from mid-20’s to early 50’s. “I found myself profoundly grateful and very hope-filled to be in the presence of such women of integrity,” said Sister Marilyn Schauble, Vocation Director. “Their insights, questions and ponderings revealed them to be God seekers not just for themselves but for the betterment of the world.”

A sunset on Lake Erie was the beautiful backdrop for Compline on Saturday evening. The retreat culminated with the Sunday celebration of Eucharist followed by a group gathering during which the participants shared wisdom gleaned from the weekend experience. Molly said, “The retreat was a wonderful and insightful experience. I will hold close the lessons I gleaned from the weekend and continue looking for more.” Kirsten added, “I feel liberated and have more courage from this experience to pursue the path of life that is meant for me.”

Enjoy the collage of photos! Click on individual photos to enlarge for better viewing.