Diocesan retreats: an opportunity to encounter God

By Lindsay Steele
The Catholic Messenger

Catholics interested in stepping back and reflecting on some of life’s most prevailing questions are invited to take part in one of two retreats in April. These day retreats — one for men and one for women — have been organized by the Diocese of Davenport’s Faith Formation Office, with the interests and concerns of local Catholics in mind.

“Retreats are an opportunity for people to step away from their daily lives and put themselves in God’s presence,” said Rosina Hendrickson, lifelong faith and lay ministry formation coordinator for the Diocese of Davenport. “While we do this in our daily prayer, it is valuable on occasion to take a day (or even longer) to separate ourselves from the cares and concerns that are part of every day and truly focus on our relationship with God.”

The men’s retreat on April 21 at St. Patrick Parish in Iowa City will focus on questions often asked by faithful men, such as: “What is God asking me to do?” “How can I be a better man for my family and my job?” “How can I be a better Catholic?” Robert Feduccia, the founding director of the Youth Liturgical Leadership Program at Saint Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology in Indiana, will serve as facilitator for the retreat, which runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The women’s retreat, “Ruby Slippers and Yellow Brick Roads,” will take place April 28 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at St. Ann Parish in Long Grove. Female singer, songwriter and retreat leader Sam Kauffman will help women address the concern of feeling lost spiritually and trying to figure out a way home.

Hendrickson said the themes for these retreats were chosen to address some of the most common struggles identified by Catholics in the diocese. These reflective retreats are the first to be hosted by the Faith Formation office in recent memory. She said facilitators at both retreats will guide participants, as opposed to instructing them, using Scripture, music and reflection. Participants “will be invited into dialogue with God on particular themes to guide their prayer and deepen their relationship with God.”

Both facilitators have a deep prayer life and have recognized the transforming power of God in their own lives, she added. “Some of what they will share comes from their own journey; other aspects come from those with whom they have met over the years. “

Both retreats will offer time for group reflection. “We will pray together as a community gathered together and share some of our insights throughout the day,” Hendrickson said. “We may gather as strangers, but will leave knowing that we are brothers and sisters in Christ, journeying together towards our eternal home.”

The cost for the men’s retreat is $30 if registering by April 1, or $40 if registering by April 16. Register at www.davenportdiocese.org/men-registration.

Cost for the women’s retreat is $30 if registering by April 8 or $40 if registering by April 23. Register at www.davenportdiocese.org/women-registration.

Flyers can be found at www.davenportdiocese.org/adult-retreat. Contact Hendrickson at (563) 888-4244 or hendrickson@davenportdiocese.org with questions.

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