Called By Name retreat offers teen girls peace and contemplation

By Dave Jolivet
Anchor Editor
davejolivet@anchornews.org

DIGHTON, Mass. — In what promises to be a busy summer for the Diocese of Fall River Vocations Office, a day of reflection for girls ages 14-18 is just one of several opportunities for young men and women from the diocese to take some time away from what can be ultra-busy schedules and breathe in some much-needed time for reflection and camaraderie.

“Called By Name — Martha or Mary ... Or, Both?” will be offered on July 16 on the serene grounds of the Dominican Sisters Convent in Dighton.

“Called By Name is a vocation promotion initiative that invites girls 14-18 years old to consider their particular calling which stems from the common calling through Baptism, to which all are invited to respond in a variety of ways — Marriage, single life or consecrated life,” Dominican Sister Paulina Hurtado, diocesan Episcopal representative for Religious and associate director of Vocations, told The Anchor.

“This is a great opportunity for teen girls, to gather and experience a day of engaging faith-based activities, talks, prayer, and group discussion which promote an awareness of God and everyone’s call to holiness. The girls are led to realize that discovering one’s vocation and living it out is the best way to a happy, holy, and full life. Gradually, a curiosity about God’s plan for their life is developed and the seeking of their vocation begins.”

Katelyn Belmore attended a Called By Name day of recollection and told The Anchor, “I learned a lot the last time and had fun. I think what they are doing for us is very awesome. I really hope they keep doing it in the future. It feels really welcoming there and it’s a wonderful experience to be there. I liked it so much that I would really like to do an over-night reflection. Thank you for doing this for everyone.”

Christine C. Smith is a director of Faith Formation and youth ministry at a parish in the diocese. Smith extolled the benefits and blessings of a Called By Name day of reflection: “As a mother of two teen-age daughters, I am very thankful that they have the opportunity to experience these retreats for young girls. It provides them with a chance to see their world from a different perspective while trying to understand what it means to be a child of God. Through fun activities, they are able to come together with other young girls and share their thoughts and experiences in a faith-filled environment. This gives them the chance to listen to how God is speaking to them in their own personal life, while also providing them with the encouragement to respond to God’s call.  

“After experiencing a retreat for girls, my daughters and the teen-agers I work with are able to bring their experience into the world.  It has enabled them to see God and listen for His calling a little easier in the culture they live in.”

Smith continued, “Having experienced God in such a visible way through activities and people, helps them to reflect on how God is working in their own lives, and trying to understand what it means to be a child of God becomes more meaningful. In a secular world, they need these opportunities for their foundation, so they can hear and respond to the vocation God is calling them too.”

Sonja Morin was an attendee at another day of reflection sponsored by the Vocations Office at the Dominican convent. “God blesses us in so many beautiful, and sometimes unexpected ways,” she said. “Sometimes it is in small, subtle ways. I was blessed in several ways, and prominent among them was an day-long retreat for teen girls in Dighton.”

She said they had the opportunity to “ponder these questions: ‘What does God have for you? What is His plan for you? How are you going to live your true identity as God’s daughter?’ We were also able to talk about these questions together as a group, sharing our answers with everyone else.

“When I entered the convent that bright Saturday morning, I had no idea how much of an impact it would make on me. Looking back on the day, I can thank God for all the people involved in this retreat, and hope that there will be more events like this in the future to help encourage the youth of our diocese to become who God created them to be and experience the beauty and wonder of Catholicism.”

The day runs from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., and the cost is $7 (cash only) at the door. The deadline for registration is July 11. For more information, or to register contact Sister Paulina at 508-496-2022 or email sr.paulina@dioc-fr.org.


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