Judith Retreat Talks: The talks at Judith are designed to address multiple themes that women might be managing at the time of their retreat experience. Of course, not every presentation at the retreat will be able to address the specific issues and unique circumstances of each attendee, but they are tailored to deal with many elements common to the feminine healing journey. These talks are designed to help the women in attendance enter more deeply into the virtues and integrity of our Blessed Mother, especially as they are magnified in the story of Judith.
Some women will be coming to the retreat who are dealing with great sadness and so the “Meditation on Mary’s Seven Sorrows” will meet them in that place. Other women will be dealing with tremendous shame over a painful past or present embarrassment and so the story of the “Woman at the Well” will be a source of consolation and comfort. There will be women at the retreat who are victims of abuse of many forms and so the “Surrendering our Sexual Brokenness” talk will provide the needed insight and support.
All the talks and supporting activities are a means towards opening each woman’s heart to hear more clearly the voice of God in the midst of her current hurts, trials or struggles.
Seven Sorrows Painting Experience with William Butler: All the women on the weekend will have a chance to creatively express their stories through a professionally guided painting experience. The Seven Dolors of Mary will be recreated on a blank canvas. Instead of relying on the professional artist’s interpretation of what Mary’s sorrows mean, the Judith retreat will enable the suffering and the wounds of the women attending to determine what those sorrows represent for them. What will be created will be a masterful mosaic of the healing of the women attending the retreat.
“Will You Give Me a Drink?” Bond Fires: This theme is taken from the story of the woman at the well (John 4:7). Jesus asks the Samaritan woman to give Him a drink from the well which she is coming to draw her daily provision of water. It is as if Jesus was asking her the question: “Do you trust me enough to tell me your story?” It is by sharing her story with Jesus that she finds her healing and true identity in Christ. Through a group sharing experience, the women at the Judith Retreat will have an opportunity to share their own stories and hear that of others. Christ will be waiting and listening in much the same way through the faces of those who are traveling the healing journey with them on the retreat weekend.
Small Groups: On the weekend, the women will have an opportunity to break out in small groups with our Judith Leader Team. These groups will be facilitated by the wise women leading the retreat and is meant to help each attendee process the various themes being presented. Most importantly, the small groups will enable each woman to connect more intimately with each other and generate greater understanding towards their own healing journey.
Freedom & Forgiveness Prayer Experience: This is an opportunity for the women to allow God to penetrate the most hardened place in their heart in relation to their pain. Perhaps she is unable to forgive herself or those who wounded her so much; this experience will draw each woman to the healing power of the Eucharist and hopefully enable these walls to come down. Through guided imagery and reflection on poignant Sacred Scripture stories of Christ healing and forgiving, women will find the necessary strength and support to begin to cross this bridge in their journey of healing. With priestly support and guidance, the Eucharist will be used to walk among the women and powerfully touch each woman’s heart and provide them with a tangible and profound experience of Christ’s love and healing power.
Judith Healing Reflections: The women will be led into a deeper understanding of their story and how Christ’s suffering and passion can be a source of consolation and healing for them. These reflections will draw the women into a specific area of healing and suffering based on the station they are visiting and praying before. The stations will provide the women an opportunity to reflect on their past and powerfully and symbolically prostrate such at the foot of the cross.