Retreat with Star of the East Parish - Dartmouth MA

By Sister Natalie Sayde
During weekend of April 8-10th, the Maronite Servants of Christ the Light facilitated a retreat for 12 ladies from the Maronite parish of Our Lady, Star of the East at the Mother of Light Convent. The ladies journeyed on Thursday night (April 7) from Pleasantville, New Jersey and journeyed back to their homes on Sunday, April 10th.  The theme of the weekend’s retreat was the life and spirituality of Our Blessed Mother, Mary, depicted vividly in the four different mysteries of the Rosary.
Our Blessed Mother holds a special place of significance in our Maronite Tradition, and she is dear to the heart of every Maronite. Mother Marla Marie set the tone of the retreat by asking the ladies to reflect on what Mary means to them and why is she special in their lives. Many of them replied with a beautiful faith and simplicity that she is our Mother who holds our hands and leads us to her Son.
During the retreat, Mother Marla Marie gave presentations on the Joyful and Luminous Mysteries to help the ladies to meditate while praying the rosary. Mother Marla Marie emphasized that the Rosary is first and foremost a meditation, a means of contemplating the life of Christ while journeying with Mary. The women were guided in a holy hour of adoration before the Holy Mysteries in our convent chapel.  On the second day, the holy hour of adoration was one centered on the prayer of healing and forgiveness, as each lady was encouraged to lay their burdens at the feet of Jesus.
Each evening, we watched the movie, “Mary of Nazareth” which depicts the life of Mary from her childhood through the Resurrection of Jesus. The film vividly captures the essence of Mary’s profound faith and trust in God amidst the great mysteries that she lived with as the Mother of the Messiah. Many of the ladies were deeply moved, as they each shared on what captured them in the film.
The days of retreat were interspersed with prayer, presentations, recreation and relaxation, Divine Liturgy and confession. All of the women had a wonderful, rejuvenating time, and thanked us for helping them in their prayer life and spirituality. Some said that their lives had been changed by this retreat and they are returning to their homes as new women. Praise God!

“Mary of Nazareth is the woman of a full and total ‘Here I am’ to the Divine Will. In her ‘yes’, even when faced with the loss of her Son, we find complete and profound beatitude.” Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI

If any are interested in holding a similar weekend retreat for the ladies of their parish, please contact Mother Marla Marie at 508/996-1753 or at sister@maroniteservants.org