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The Healing Influence of a Spiritual Mother

Posted by Administrator (admin) on Jan 25 2017
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During the weekend of January 13-15, 2017, 43 women gathered for the Annual Women’s Spirituality Weekend at St. Francis Center for Renewal in Bethlehem, Pa. This year’s focus, The Healing Influence of a Spiritual Mother, began with an opening ritual recalling the fact that by baptism all are called to minister to one another with the love and compassion of a mother. “The call to spiritual motherhood is deep within in each of us – more ingrained than biological motherhood,” encouraged spiritual director Barb Martell.   

After a quiet evening of rest, Sister Marguerite Stewart presented Some Matriarchs of the Old Testament in Eve, Sarah, Hannah and Ruth for consideration. In the afternoon Sister Barbara Brown presented Spiritual Mothers of the New Testament and Beyond with short glimpses of Mary and Elizabeth, Martha and Mary of Bethany, Mary of Magdala, along with Prisca, Phoebe and Lydia of the Early Church. She also touched on the Ammas of the Desert and Clare of Assisi.  

In the late afternoon, Biblio-dramatist Beth Yoder led the group through a further reflection based on the spiritual motherhood found in the relationship between Mary and Elizabeth. In the evening, participants created symbolic vessels and viewed the film, The War Room

After a celebration of the Eucharist on Sunday morning, Sister Virginelle Makos spoke of more modern figures of spiritual motherhood in her presentation, The Healing Influence of a Spiritual Mother Today. Using her own experiences as a teacher and caregiver for the elderly, she shared her own call to spiritual motherhood. Later, she encouraged retreatants to consider the women who spiritually mothered them, and then examine the relationships in which they have mothered others. The retreat ended with a celebratory prayer service and the words of Esther: “For such a time as this, I have been created!”   

The participants were enthusiastic and open,” says Sister Barbara. “It was a grace-filled time in which the ladies shared themselves and their experiences of God.” May all of them embrace the call to spiritual motherhood with open hearts, so that they can make God’s love and compassion real for God’s people!

Last changed: Jan 25 2017 at 2:07 PM


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