With nineteen of us present, we began with prayer; Pope Francis’ Help me, O Lord followed by the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy. We then viewed Cleveland Clinic’s powerful and perceptive four minute video – a brief peek into the ordinary lives of various individuals in hospital experiencing the inexorable challenges of daily life. Momentarily we placed ourselves in each of their shoes feeling a deep sense of compassion and sympathy and respect as they struggle through the full range of emotions like joy and sorrow, fear and anxiety, bad news and pain.
The September retreat summary was read aloud and then some heart-and-brain storming ensued arriving at these decisions:
- We will invite our Syrian family to join us at our Associates December Christmas potluck supper
- Working with and through the local Catholic Central High School, our group will be donating money for their project to assist needy families and provide them with Christmas gifts and food. (The students from this school do the shopping, packing and delivering so many become involved in this work of mercy and charity.)
With our Martha Retreat Center designation as a Holy Door, we will bring this to a prayerful close as we share in the celebration of a Mass of Mercy at seven o’clock, November 24th.
For next month’s meeting the recitation of the rosary will serve as opening prayer, Brian and Sharon will narrate their life stories and Mary will research and provide the story of a saint’s life.
Before breaking for tea and crumpets, we prayed a Hail Mary for the healing of our hospital chaplain Father Alphonse’s ailing mother and sang our loving blessings to keep Annella safe as she begins her journey and three week visit to India.
Ina (Associate Scribe)