Sister Denise Glazik, OP, director of the Springfield Dominican vocation office, organized a Busy Persons Retreat for parishioners at St. Malachy Parish, Rantoul, Ill., and they showed up! About 40 persons participated.
The Dominican Sisters are very familiar with the people of St. Malachy, having served there for more than 100 of our 150 years in existence. With heavy hearts the congregation withdrew from Rantoul two years ago due to lack of available sisters. But the parishioners said they were happy to see lights on in the convent during the five-day retreat, while the sisters who travelled to Rantoul for the event re-occupied the building for a few days.
The five Dominicans, Sisters Denise, Pat Stark, Karen Freund, Marcelline Koch, and Phyllis Schenk, along with the pastor, Fr. Joel Phelps, met individually with the retreatants each day. Retreatants committed to spending a half hour in prayer with the Gospel readings of the day and then met for at least one-half hour with their companion to talk about it. There was consensus that both sisters and parishioners who took part felt enriched by the experience.
"It was a rewarding way to spend part of Catholic Sisters Week," said Sister Denise, for whom the Rantoul parish is home. She and the other sisters reunited with Springfield Dominican associates from the region and Sister Denise's brother Jerry, was kind enough to bake some pies for the gathering.
"The parishioners said they enjoyed the experience as a community-builder for themselves," Sister Denise remarked. "At the closing gathering some of them recognized the value of being able to call one another by name and suggested they might wear nametags during Sunday liturgy."
If you think your parish would be interested in having the Dominican Sisters for a Busy Persons Retreat, call Sacred Heart Convent and ask for Sister Denise.
About the photo: clockwise from left: Springfield Dominican Sisters Denise Glazik, Phyllis Schenk, Karen Freund, Patricia Stark and Marcelline Koch at the Busy Persons Retreat, St. Malachy Parish, Rantoul, Ill.
What is a Busy Persons Retreat?
An ideal experience for people whose daily schedule and responsibilities won't easily accommodate a traditional retreat. Participants commit to a 30-minute daily period of prayer and a 30-minute meeting with a spiritual companion who accompanies them over a five-day period to assist them with their spiritual growth and journey in relationship to God. Perhaps you could try one in your parish. Contact Sister Denise Glazik for details.