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Mary’s fiat is framework for ‘Behold’ women’s retreat

News of the Diocese

March 7, 2024

Mary’s fiat is framework for ‘Behold’ women’s retreat
Mary’s fiat is framework for ‘Behold’ women’s retreat
Mary’s fiat is framework for ‘Behold’ women’s retreat
Mary’s fiat is framework for ‘Behold’ women’s retreat
Mary’s fiat is framework for ‘Behold’ women’s retreat
Mary’s fiat is framework for ‘Behold’ women’s retreat
Mary’s fiat is framework for ‘Behold’ women’s retreat
Mary’s fiat is framework for ‘Behold’ women’s retreat

More than 70 mothers and teenage daughters, spiritual mothers and those in a mother-daughter like relationship participated in “Behold Our Fierceness,” a special daylong retreat presented by the diocesan Office of Marriage and Family Ministry on March 2 at Our Lady of Lourdes Shrine in Euclid. Mothers, grandmothers, aunts, nieces and mentors were invited to participate in the retreat.

Mary’s fiat – her “yes” to the Lord’s request – provided a framework for the retreat. Her fiat is described in Scripture (Lk 1:38): “And Mary said, ‘Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be done to me according to your word.’”

Speakers focused on the feminine mind, the feminine spirit and the feminine body.

(See photo gallery above.)

Samantha Kelley founder of Fierce Athlete, Inc. in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, focused on the feminine body, telling attendees they should “honor the body the Lord gave you. Honor oneself.” Women’s bodies are sacred, she said, created by God. She described Eve’s creation, explaining when awoke, her first human experience was being gazed upon by Adam, who said she was “bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh, one made for me, but different.”

Kelley said a woman’s purpose in life is to be a gift to those around us. “We were created for communion and community.

The male body reveals masculinity in sacrifice with Jesus as the perfect model. “He gave himself in a sacrifice on the cross,” she said.

“Mary is our role model. At the height of her femininity, she was at the foot of the cross where she was asked by Jesus to give another ‘yes,’ to become the mother of all. Mary is pictured as meek and mild, but she was the fiercest woman who ever lived,” Kelley said.

The human family is the greatest icon we have of the Trinity, Kelley said, explaining man sacrifices/gives to the woman, who receives and gives back, which can result in a new life.

Desi Gould, director of evangelization for the Avon Catholic Community, which consists of Holy Trinity and St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception parishes, focused on the feminine mind, delving into how women can take care of their minds. She also discussed the women doctors of the Church: St. Hildegard of Bingen, St. Catherine of Siena, St. Teresa of Avila and St. Therese of Lisieux. Doctors of the Church are deemed to have contributed significantly to the life of the Church through understanding of sacred Scripture and development of official Church doctrine.

The third presenter, Lindsay Fullerman, founder of Fit From Faith, focused on the feminine spirit. Her talk examined the way the enemy – Satan – attacks women and how prayer can help fight the attacks. “We need to have a personal relationship with Jesus in places where the enemy attacks,” Fullerman said, adding a healthy prayer life is key to fending off the enemy’s “attacks.”

Maria Wancata, Marriage and Family Life Ministry specialist, called the retreat a success. The day included the three presentations, reflections, conversation, an opportunity to explore the shrine grounds, snacks, lunch and a closing Mass celebrated by Father Mick Joyce, OFM Cap.

Attendees received a goodie bag and a special “Behold” sweatshirt.

Click here for more information on the Marriage and Family Life Ministry, which is under the umbrella of the diocesan Secretariat for Parish Life and Special Ministries.

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