|Rene Blackwell (left) and Valerie Fifelski (right) flank some of the students from the Immaculate Conception program|
"It’s known as a place where students
experience the love of God and learn how to love
This is how the recently named director of the Immaculate
Conception (IC) program, Valerie Fifelski, described the group’s summer activities
that took from June 25 until July 17, 2013, at
the Queen of the Family Retreat Center in Oxford, Michigan.
IC program is for girls who are considering pursuing discernment
to the consecrated life in Regnum Christi. Five new girls
joined the eight returning students for the summer program.
the thought, discussions and planning we put into this upcoming
year, and the summer program in particular, I am so
glad to see that Our Lord continues blessing each of
these young women through this work, which is his instrument,"
said Valerie. "It’s wonderful to see how clearly He guides
each of us step by step along His path toward
fulfillment and joy."
Valerie is assisted in overseeing the IC program by
directive team members Rene Blackwell and Katie Tuttle.
“We ran the
summer program with assistance from the returning students, who lead
many of the activities,” said Valerie. “Our team focused on
providing all the girls with opportunities to help them encounter
Christ in a personal way, to make a positive impact
on others through outreach, and to learn about themselves and
what the IC program is all about."
|IC summer program students on an ice cream outing. In the front row are IC program directive team members Valerie Fifelski (left) and Katie Tuttle (second from the right).|
The summer program included
training in ECyD program methodology, and girls enjoyed many apostolic
experiences and team building opportunities, including hosting a day out
with almost 80 under-privileged children and four sisters from the
Missionaries of Charity.
Activities were designed to promote a “family atmosphere”
and to help build lasting friendships. The girls when on
an overnight camping trip, competed in daily sports, went bike
riding and on outings for ice cream.
To celebrate the 4th of
July holiday, the girls also visited students from Everest Collegiate
High School (Clarkston, Michigan) where the IC program students attend
school during the school year.
They also participated in daily courses
focusing on prayer and the spiritual life.
“They focus on who they
are in the eyes of God as a Christian and
a friend of Jesus,” said Valerie. “Our goal is to
help them get a clear perspective on discernment – on
ways they can discern both in the bigger matters of
life, and in the smaller day-to-day matters. The outline for
the all of the courses can be summarized as learning
about God, about yourself and about your response to God.”
help the students connect with God through prayer, the girls
participated in “dynamic” Eucharistic adoration hours, meditations and Gospel reflections,
with the goal of achieving “experiential” or deep prayer.
the new program participants, Mariana Lacouture, said of her summer
experience. “The program was an answer to my prayers because
I wanted a place where I could grow in my
faith and discern my vocation with spiritual guidance (mentoring) and
people who support me.”
Sarah Harlan, a graduate from the IC
program, was invited back for a day-long course called “Life
Lessons on the Universal Themes of Love.”
“I love seeing everyone
again,” she said. “It’s really helpful for me to come
back, experience this environment again, and remind myself of what
I want to keep when I am back at home
– my prayer life and the relationships I made here.”
IC directive team would like to thank Elizabeth Stromberg for
her help and support in running part of the summer
program as well.
Stay updated with all the exciting things happening in
the IC program by liking them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/immaculateconceptionprogram.