The Home of the Mother held a Silent Retreat for Young Adults on February 15-17 in Northern Florida.
The theme of the retreat was the words from the Bible about Jesus: “Everyone is searching for You.” After people got out of work or school on Friday, everyone drove an hour outside of Jacksonville, Florida to the Montgomery Campgrounds where the retreat was going to be held for the weekend.
The night began with Mass and an introductory talk, both led by Fr. Felix Lopez, SHM, who had flown in with Br. Matthew Nobrega from Spain in order to lead the retreat for the young people here in the USA.
Saturday began with Morning Prayer, followed by exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and points of meditation given by Fr. Felix about faith. After some time for prayer, Br. Matthew talked about God’s tender love. He delved into a Hebrew word that means the love a mother feels for the child in her womb, relating that idea to God’s love. After some free time (although most people stayed inside the chapel because it was a cold and gloomy day), Sr. Mary Donovan gave a talk about sin and God’s mercy. She called the young people to “wake up” and to listen to God and what He had to say to them.
Later on, there was exposition of the Blessed Sacrament again, with a beautiful talk about the Eucharist, again from Fr. Felix. He challenged the young people present to be honest and ask themselves that if they truly believed Jesus was present in the Most Blessed Sacrament, how could they not go to Mass every day in order to be with Him? How could they fail to find time to talk to Him every day in prayer? After praying Vespers, everyone went to the dining hall to see the movie “The Passion” and to try and go deeper into God’s love for mankind by meditating on His sacrifice on the Cross.
The Blessed Sacrament was left exposed all night so that everyone could take turns in prayer before Our Lord. Also, during all of the meals, the Servant Sisters read aloud the book: “Characters of the Passion” by Venerable Fulton J. Sheen. The ideas in the book helped everyone. His analysis of St. Peter’s fall when he denied Jesus and how he later returned to God is very vivid and profound. Almost everyone took advantage of the fact that there was confession available throughout the day.
The next morning, there was time for points of meditation and prayer. The young people also had time to reflect on their relationship with Our Lady, the Mother of God and Our Mother, when Sr. Caitlin gave a talk on St. Louis Grignon’s five characteristics of true devotion to Mary. Her talk was directly followed by Mass. There was then a final meeting where everyone shared their own experiences during the retreat. All in all, it seemed that the young people had really tried to open themselves to God.
We pray that the graces these young people received during the retreat continue to bear fruit in their lives as they try to grow closer to Jesus and Mary.