This is National Vocation Awareness Week. Our vocation directors are always on the road meeting with different groups of various ages. The following article was written by Sr. Elaine Thaden, one of our vocation directors, describing one of the programs she is involved with. If you would be interested in attendng an evening program such as this--or if you know of a young woman who might be interested--contact us at email@example.com.
Questions and Answers
What did you find helpful about this evening’s Twilight Retreat?
- Finding similarities and companionship in a group of mostly strangers and knowing that our faith can bring us together. I loved having alone time for prayer as well as the group discussions.
- Space and time to pray and listen and share with the other women. The topic was extremely relevant to my life and the wisdom, love, and understanding of the sisters’sharing was so valuable.
These were some of the evaluative comments offered by the 12 young women, ages 20- 30, who came to a Twilight Retreat in
that I presented together with three sisters from different congregations in the diocese. These Twilight Retreats have been offered once
or twice a year for several years. The attendees of the most recent retreat
included students from
and Gonzaga University ,
recent college graduates, and young career women. Whitworth University
What Is A Twilight Retreat?
A Twilight Retreat is just that—a retreat offered on a Friday evening. The program starts with a simple dinner prepared and served by the sisters and extends into the evening—until about The planning committee selects a theme and designs a simple but attractive booklet including all the songs, communal prayers, texts to be prayed over, succinct reflection questions for the women’s quiet time and sharing, and space for journaling. These booklets offer more than enough reflection materials and the women tell us that they continue to find it a helpful guide after they return to their routine life.
Sr. Elaine Thaden (far left) joined the retreats for a period of reflection and journaling.
The most recent retreat was on the theme of “Tending Our Longing.” We explored how longings for God are revealed in three areas of our lives: in our restlessness, in our heartfelt connections, and through challenging times and suffering. The previous Twilight Retreat was on the theme, “Allowing God to Touch My Heart,” and the retreatants explored God’s touch through creation, scripture, reflection on their experience, and the deepening of their self-knowledge.
We offered the most recent retreat not only in the
area, but also at the
at Newman Center in Washington State
The young men of the Newman Club fixed the women a wonderful gourmet dinner to
start the evening.
At the end of the evening, we usually ask the women if they would like some follow-up to this retreat and they make various suggestions. They also indicate whether or not they would like to meet with a sister and they give their reasons:
- to talk about questions of spirituality
- to get to know sisters better
- to hear about the sisters’ ministries and life styles
- to stay connected with other women serious about their spirituality.