My first international women’s retreat (#BBBRetreat) outside of the US began with a lively conversation with the pastor of Saint Benedict parish in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Fr James Mallon in 2012. A media-savvy evangelist, Fr James and I shared a flight to Chicago following our independent presentations at the Diocesan Adult Education Conference in Springfield, IL. (H/T to @sullijo.)
In the correspondence that followed I was contacted by the lovely Dawn Purcell who was charged with forming a team for the first-ever women’s retreat at the parish. Dawn and I did most of our work together via email and phone calls. We talked about goals for the parish, and reaching women of all ages, and logistics.
A Blessed, Beautiful, and Bodacious retreat can be a single day event, or a Friday- Saturday event.
(Saint Benedict women decided on a Friday night that was followed by a wine and cheese reception with music provided by a harpist. Very elegant! Then we had a Saturday event that gave us a lavish amount of time for interaction between the talks and presentations. We also benefitted from Eucharistic Adoration in the midday hour.)
What happens at a BBB Retreat?
In the course of the retreat, I give three talks on the Blessed Dignity, the Beautiful Gifts, and the Bodacious Mission of women. The material is drawn from my book, and contains Catholic teaching from Scripture, the Catechism, magisterial teaching from St John Paul II from his ground-breaking documents on women and theology of the body, as well as other popes and saints.
Three local women give short testimony talks describing how these ideas take shape in their lives.
We discuss these things in small groups.
And large ones.
We get to know each other better.
We get to know Mary better.
We had over 200 women in Halifax.
I’ve given this retreat to groups from 50-500, and the event is adaptable to a variety of settings and budgets.
If you are interested in having this retreat in your parish or diocese, contact me through this website. I can offer recommendations from women who’ve booked me, or you can read a few online here. A few dates are open for the fall of 2014, and early 2015.