Our 5th Annual “Come and See” Retreat (April 8-10) welcomed 28 young women from across the country to our Juniorate House in Washington, DC.  1-chapel

The event included Mass, Adoration and the Liturgy of the Hours together as well as informal moments of shared meals.

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On Saturday, two talks were offered in the morning: one on the history and charism of our Religious Family (given by Sr. Maria del Fiat Miola), and another on the missionary dimension of the Church and of our own congregation (given by Sr. Marie Notre Dame de Bon Secours Casadaban).

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Come-and-See-2016 (4)

Later that afternoon, our guests were able visit some of the apostolates of our community.  Some joined our sisters for their regular visit to two local nursing homes, others visited the parish catechism program at St. James in Mount Rainier or the parish festival taking place at St. John Baptiste de la Salle in Chillum.

In the evening, there was free time, an afternoon snack with two vocations stories from the sisters, and Rosary and Adoration.  We were able to share dinner and joyful recreation as is our custom.

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Come-and-See-2016 (2)

Sunday included two more talks: one on the heroic virtues of St John Paul the Great (given by M. Mary Mother of Faith O’Connor) and another given at the Shrine on the place of Marian Consecration in our charism and religious life (given by Sr. Maria Hagia Sophia Clemens).

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For the closing Mass on Sunday we made a pilgrimage praying the Rosary to the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.  Before entering the Holy Doors for the Jubilee Year of Mercy, Mother Faith gave some background to the tradition of papal indulgences and how to gain one!

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Gathering around the altar of our Lord in “Mary’s House” was most fitting way to close of the retreat.  We want to pray together, asking the young women to pray for us in our vocations, and assuring them that we will pray for them in whatever God has in mind for each of their lives.

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Supporting a Culture of Vocations

As in past years, we were so edified to see the willingness of young women to take a weekend apart to learn more about religious life, to pray together with sisters, and to build up once more a “culture of vocations” in the Church.

SSVM Servidoras, Receiving Blue Veils, Spain

Vocations in Spain receiving the blue veil of first profession.

Some of these young women will probably enter religious life in some congregation in God’s time, some may even enter ours.  Some of these young women will probably marry and form families within the Church, becoming mothers who value and understand the consecrated vocation and will transmit that to their children.

Saints Zelie and Louis Martin; photo credit: Sanctuaire d'Alencon

Saints Zelie and Louis Martin; photo credit: Sanctuaire d’Alencon

Although a consecrated vocation from among one’s own family is usually received as a joy and a loss, these women may be more prepared to accept their own religious vocation or even to foster vocations among their sons and daughters…and our Come and See weekend 2016 may have contributed in some small way to that moment!

In whatever way it is, let us all become saints…I am certain that there is nothing else worth doing!

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St John Paul II, pray for all of us! Our Lady of Lujan, pray for all of us!

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