Learn more about my latest book – All In: Why Belonging to the Catholic Church Matters. Available now!
The Blessed Beautiful and Bodacious Women’s Retreat goes International!

The Blessed Beautiful and Bodacious Women’s Retreat goes International!

photoMy 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.)

Me with Fr James Mallon, pastor of Saint Benedict Parish

Me with Fr James Mallon, pastor of Saint Benedict Parish

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? 

Screen Shot 2014-04-27 at 4.23.47 PMIn 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.

IMG_0942

Momma Mary’s got my back. Can’t present without her!

Three local women give short testimony talks describing how these ideas take shape in their lives.

Stephanie, giving her witness talk.

Stephanie, giving her witness talk.

We discuss these things in small groups.

Members of a discussion group.

Members of a discussion group.

And large ones.

Women yield the floor to one another.

Women yield the floor to one another.

We laugh.

IMG_0957

Who knew Pope Francis would make a guest appearance on the retreat?

We get to know each other better.

So much goodness in one room!

So much goodness in one room!

We get to know Mary better.

Great witness talks from Sandra Kline, Heather Taylor, and Stephanie Potter.

Great witness talks from Sandra Kline, Heather Taylor, and Stephanie Potter.

We had over 200 women in Halifax.

BmJccoFIIAAkBA_.jpg-large

Just over 200 women in the parish hall.

I’ve given this retreat to groups from 50-500, and the event is adaptable to a variety of settings and budgets.

Fr James thanks Dawn Purcell for her leadership.

Fr James thanks Dawn Purcell for her leadership.

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.