Every month, on a Saturday morning, a group of women of all ages gathers at the Heart’s Home Center in Brooklyn for a time of spiritual growing and sharing. One of them - Rachel O.- describes beautifully her experience with this ’Bethany Group’.
The monthly women’s retreat with Sister Regina has been a source of great joy and inspiration for me. With five children, it is difficult for me to make time for spiritual reflection and Eucharistic adoration. There are so many responsibilities that I save for the weekends: laundry, cleaning, house projects. Yet, since Sister Regina began her monthly Saturday retreats, I have not missed a single one: that’s how important they are in my life. We begin the morning with coffee and conversation, catching up with the other women. After we’ve had time to greet each other, we say a prayer together. Each month, Sister gives a talk on a topic such as Therese of Lisieux, the Gospel of St. John, Adrienne Von Speyr, a gospel reading, or how to live Lent without losing sight of the Resurrection. From each discussion, I have come away with new insights that stay with me and continue to percolate in my mind and in my soul. There is a quiet excitement that these retreats leave me with, a peaceful joy that transforms the whole week that follows.
Eucharistic adoration follows the talk, and we pray or meditate silently in the chapel at Heart’s Home. This gives us a chance to reflect on the talk we’ve just heard and to prayerfully consider the insights that have been offered to us. Usually, there is mass after adoration, and sometimes there is the opportunity for confession as well. What touches me most at the end of each retreat is the sense that I have both gone deeper into a spiritual truth and discovered ways to apply these new insights to my daily life. Many times when I am changing a diaper or overwhelmed by the daily grind, I am able to find beauty, even for a moment, by remembering how someone like Adrienne Von Speyr or Therese of Lisieux found spiritual meaning in the otherwise empty routines that make up most of our lives. In this way, I feel my ordinary life made richer by these retreats that take me out of my ordinary life and convert me anew each month, returning me home again with fresh hope.