From a letter to the Community from the Sisters in Big Bear
Greetings from God’s Holy Mountain. The weekend of October 20-22, 2017, we had the great pleasure of having our Sacred Heart Teen Retreat here, with 26 teens and 10 staff, plus our good friend, Nadine, helping in the kitchen. This retreat has been very fruitful in the past, and it continues to be a very renewing and blessed experience for all of us involved. Like last year, we had a very good response, both from the retreatants as well as the staff. The spirit was joyful and deeply spiritual. It is very obvious how much each person who was present loves and cherishes their Faith.
Our theme was, “Search me God and know my heart,” continuing with Ps. 139 after the summer camps’ theme, “Wonderfully Made.” Since the retreat began on our 1st Chapter preparation day, our young adults took care of registering the teens and beginning the retreat. All of which they did beautifully. They took their responsibilities very seriously. Some of them came up the Sunday before to help do set up and have training time with us.
It was delightful to walk into retreat and to see their faces light up when we arrived. Every aspect of retreat was inspired by the Holy Spirit. It came together seamlessly, building on each of the activities and talks. During their Closura sharing they mentioned every part of retreat as a spiritual highlight. One of our favorite times was adoration Saturday afternoon. We processed to Reconciliation Ridge with great reverence. Each of us had a stone that we had been carrying on our person after our morality talk and during a “Choose Your Own Adventure” activity; the stones represented our weaknesses or temptations that keep us from God. During adoration, we brought them forward one by one to lay before Jesus, asking Him to fill us with a virtue instead. Another powerful experience happened Saturday night when we watched a short clip about holiness from the 3 Minute Catechism then split into sessions for guys and girls. The girls were particularly excited to go into the convent chapel while the boys were in Mary’s Lodge chapel. About half of the boys shared it as their highlight, and Joe immediately said it went very well. The girls’ questions were all about our life as Sisters. The young women who choose to come to this retreat have open hearts to hearing God’s call in their lives. More than one teen voiced that there should be more than one Teen Retreat in the year. ????
Our kitchen was led beautifully by Nadine with the help of our staff. She first contacted us about helping during retreat because her granddaughter was really hoping she could be there, too. She had a wonderful spirit, even when the singing was very enthusiastic while the teens were doing dishes. ????
Thank you for your prayers for the retreat. It’s a great gift to be able to lead these young people closer to the Heart of our Lord. We pray for each of you and your intentions.
In Jesus’ Heart,
Sister Rose and Sister Hannah