At the end of March we held our second “Come and See” Retreat in Washington, DC.  Once again this event proved to be a beautiful experience for all of us: for those who are actively discerning religious life, for those having their first  encounter with Catholic sisters, and for us who hosted them!

Young women arrived on Friday evening and joined the community in our regular schedule (click here to see the complete retreat schedule). First we shared our daily holy hour and the recitation of Vespers in community followed by the weekly tradition of homemade pizza together with recreation.

Saturday morning began with the celebration of the Holy Mass celebrated by His Eminence Theodore Cardinal McCarrick, Archbishop Emeritus of Washington, DC. He offered profound yet simple reflections on the core Christian mysteries. Cardinal McCarrick remained with us for a few hours to have breakfast with the retreatants and also to give the first talk. Later that morning M. Maria de la Revelación Casteñeda, SSVM presented on the mission spirituality of all the baptized, the foundation for our life as consecrated missionary sisters.

In the afternoon, half of the retreatants joined the sisters in their apostolate at St. James parish in Mount Rainier, MD while the others assisted in the oratory at St. John Baptiste de la Salle in Chillum, MD, the parish church of the IVE Seminary. The retreatants shared first hand in the missionary outreach of our religious family.

Upon their return to the convent, the group had coffee while a few sisters shared their vocation stories. The young women had the opportunity for silent meditation and also the sacrament of reconciliation during Adoration.

After Lauds and breakfast on Sunday morning, Sister Maria del Fiat Miola, SSVM gave a presentation on the history and charism of our Religious Family. Then in order to celebrate Palm Sunday with particular solemnity, the participants and sisters attended Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. The last talk of the “Come and See” was giving by Sr. Maria Theotókos Adams, SSVM on our Marian spirituality and fourth vow of total consecration. “Come and See 2013” ended with lunch at the convent.

We give thanks to God for the great grace of this “Come and See” retreat. We ask Him, through the intercession of Our Lady of Luján, Mother of our Vocations, to raise up many holy vocations to the Universal Church.