St. Catharine, KY – Attendees for the September 7-9 Dominican Sisters of Peace Come and See retreat came from across the country – as close as Kentucky and as far away as Texas and California. The women were in different stages of discernment, came from various ethnic backgrounds and spoke a number of languages, but what brought them together was their love of Christ and the Church, and their close attention to God’s plan for their own lives.
According to the website vocationnetwork.org, 71% of those who have entered religious life and are currently in initial formation are under the age of 40. This statistic held true at the Dominican Sisters of Peace Come and See Retreat held at the St. Catharine Motherhouse and St. Catharine Farm in St. Catharine, KY, near Louisville. Of the nine women in attendance, eight were under the age of 40. In total, attendees ranged in age from 18-50.
Sr. June Fitzgerald and the Dominican Sisters of Peace Vocations team had created a full schedule of activities that allowed them to experience the Pillars of Dominican Life: Prayer, study, community and service. The discerners visited the historic site of the log cabin where the first Dominican Sisters in the United States lived and took a hay ride at St. Catharine Farm to visit the site of the former St. Catherine Motherhouse, which was destroyed by fire in 1904. They joined with other Sisters for Taize prayer, traditional Morning Prayer of the Liturgy of the Hours, and Vespers. They also had the opportunity to talk with Sisters about their life in community, how they were called by God and the various ministries in which they have been involved. Sisters in the initial stages of formation joined the retreatants via video conference to share their stories as well. Novices from the Collaborative Dominican Novitiate joined the group for social events and some of the prayer services.
“Having such a wonderful turnout at this Come and See retreat was a real blessing,” said Sister June. “We hope to continue to walk with these women, and to help them hear God’s call and discern his direction for their own lives.”