This morning I gave a women’s retreat day at Church of Christ the King on the theme The Women Who Came Before Us. As I said at the outset of our time together, although my visualization of the Communion of the Saints includes many men, I think there is value to women in focusing on some of he women in our history.
Although we read about them far too infrequently, women played significant roles in the narratives of both the Old and the New Testament. Women have been among the greatest mystics of the Catholic Church and included in the ranks of those who have been recognized by the Church (and some who have not been formally recognized) are some amazing women – strong, courageous women of faith.
I divided our time together into two segments: Women of the Bible and Latter-Day Women Saints (which term for me includes women who have not been formally canonized as well as those who have). During the first segment, I spoke about Miriam, Ruth, Hannah, Martha Phoebe and Mary (mother of Jesus). In the second segment, I spoke about Edith Stein, Dorothy Day, Sr. Thea Bowman and Elizabeth Ann Seton. After each talk, the women spent time in individual prayer and reflection, following which we had both small group and large group discussion.
Directing women’s retreats is always an incredible privilege for me, whether it is long weekends like last weekend or a half-day like today. I think we all benefitted by our time and sharing together.
You can access a recording of my reflection on Women of the Bible here or stream it from the icon below. (The podcast runs for 37:38.) The recording of my talk on Latter-Day Women Saints is here or stream it from the icon below. (The podcast runs for 29:39.) A copy of the handout I distributed for prayer on Women of the Bible is here and the handout for praying with Latter-Day Women Saints is here.
Women of the Bible:
Latter Day Women Saints: