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Turn to Jesus (Article)

A Week to Remember
46 young women recharge during annual Holy Week retreat

vigil mass holy week retreat
A moment during the Vigil Mass on Holy Saturday evening.

Greenville, RI. April 8, 2010. On Wednesday, March 28, a total of 46 young women from the US, Canada, and Mexico arrived to Greenville, RI for the annual Holy Week Retreat.

Each young woman had a specific reason for coming. Some were first-timers, ready for a brand new experience. Others had made it their annual tradition to recharge their spiritual batteries. Some were seeking light and direction at a turning point in their lives. Whatever their personal stories, all came with the desire to put aside the noise and distractions of the world and take some time for much-needed prayer and soul searching. 

A walk to remember

This year’s retreat theme, “A Walk to Remember,” had a special twist, transforming the movie starring Mandy Moore into a reflection on Christ’s walk to Calvary. 

With Holy Week being one of the most solemn weeks in the Church calendar, the activities, hosted by the
stations of the cross outside
Walking the Stations of the Cross.
Regnum Christi consecrated women, were aimed at helping the retreatants reflect more deeply on the mysteries of Christ’s Passion, Death, and Resurrection.

The 5-day event was sprinkled with a variety of talks, conferences, and workshops with themes touching on the situation of today’s world, God’s love, interior freedom, and being a missionary for Christ. Invited speakers included Fr Julio Martí, the territorial director for New York, who spoke on Good Friday about Christ’s radical proof of love on the Cross.

The young women also joined in all the major liturgical celebrations, from the Holy Thursday Chrism Mass and the Good Friday service to the midnight Easter Vigil. 

For some, this year’s Holy Week had unique gifts in store.

“Christ died for me on my birthday,” said Danielle Sherman, from Indiana, who celebrated her birthday on Good Friday. “Who else would do that? What a gift!”

God’s providence in Providence

Holy Saturday gave the
serving at soup kitchen
On Saturday, the retreatants served at a local soup kitchen in Providence.
retreatants an opportunity to hit the city streets of downtown Providence for a day of evangelization missions. They began their mission day by praying the Rosary outside the local abortion clinic.

“We were definitely a strong presence there with our mission t-shirts and crucifixes,” said Lori Lively, a consecrated woman who joined the young women on the mission. “It was a little shocking for the missionaries to see other young women entering the clinic on Holy Saturday.”

Next, the missionaries headed over to the Providence homeless shelter nearby to offer bagged lunches that they had put together.

Sarah Kulhman from Ohio shared a moment of God’s providence when she met a homeless woman on the street who revealed that she hadn’t been to Church in several years. After spending a few moments speaking with her, the woman began to cry. They gave her one of the bagged lunches and a crucifix… which made her cry even more.

Before leaving, the missionaries sang some familiar songs to liven up the atmosphere.

“I had no idea whose lives we’d touch,” said Autumn Smith as she recounted how the homeless people were more cheerful by the end than when the girls first arrived.

A launching pad back into life

The highlight of the week’s events was the solemn Easter Vigil Celebration.

Darkness and silence reigned as, candles
mass moment
Easter Sunday: a new beginning to a new life.
in hand, hundreds of people gathered outside to begin what is described as the mother of all vigils. Before long, the sanctuary slowly began to glow with the light of the candles as everyone processed into the main chapel and found their places for the traditional Mass with its rich array of readings and Psalms. The Mass was a culminating point of the retreat and an invitation to return to their daily lives with a new sense of God’s presence, a new confidence in his love.

Retreat participants arrived to Rhode Island for Holy Week seeking spiritual peace and chance to disconnect from the many distractions of daily life. They left equipped with the renewed energy, enthusiasm and eagerness to face the challenges of living as an authentic Catholic in the today’s world.

Nina Tavares, a local Rhode Islander said, “I have received so much, now I leave thinking, how can I share this with the world.”

For more information on retreats and conventions hosted by the Regnum Christi consecrated women, go to



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Sponsored by the congregation of the Legionaries of Christ and the Regnum Christi Movement, Copyright 2011, Legion of Christ. All rights reserved.

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