By Colleen Rowan
The Emmaus Ministry for Grieving Parents will present a one-day retreat at St. Mary Church in Morgantown Oct. 19. The retreat serves the spiritual needs of parents who have experienced the death of a child of any age, by any cause, no matter how long ago.
“Losing a child under any circumstances is horrific. Focusing on the spirituality of the grieving process can help tremendously. Just as he comforted his grieving disciples on the road to Emmaus, Jesus comforts us and we comfort each other in this very special ministry,” stated on the Emmaus Ministry website. Emmaus Parent Companions (comprised of Catholic clergy, religious, and certified spiritual directors) and St. Mary’s retreat team with be present for grieving parents “in a warm and loving place where they can feel free to think, to talk, to feel, and to pray. Find compassion, rest, and peace… at least for a time,” the website states.
The retreat is designed for grieving parents whose precious children of any age (from conception to old age) have died by any cause (miscarriage, stillbirth, abortion, illness, accident, suicide, murder, overdose, etc.), no matter how long ago. The retreat agenda includes prayer services, spiritual reflections, breakout sessions, Emmaus Walk, Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, and time for reflection.
The retreat offers one the chance to get away from everyday life, retreat organizers said, to focus on one’s individual spiritual journey, to focus on questions, such as… “Where is God in my pain? Where is my child now? How can my faith help me through this horrible, new reality of life without my child? Where do I go from here?”
“This is your day to focus on your spiritual journey,” retreat organizers said. “Share as much or as little as you like, without being forced to speak. Many people participate by listening only.”
The Emmaus Ministry for Grieving Parents is led by Diane Monaghan and her husband, Charles, who started the retreat after the loss of their only son Paul, 26, to suicide. The retreat also included others, such as parents who have lost children, who also provide guidance. Along with the Monaghans, the founders include Father David Convertino, OFM, and Sisters Marie Puleo, MFIC.
Emmaus Ministry programs are offered by Emmaus Parent and Emmaus Retreat Team Companions. Emmaus Parent Companions believe that “It is in consoling that we are consoled.” Emmaus Retreat Team companions believe that this ministry serves a vital, unmet need.
The one-day Emmaus retreats are described by the ministry as giving participants the opportunity to concentrate on their individual spiritual journey and to listen to the experiences of other grieving parents.
An attendee of the Emmaus Retreat in Charleston five years ago said: “The retreat was a wonderful experience. It was comforting to be around others who have been through the same loss as me.”
To read what other parents have to say about the one day retreats, visit https://www.emfgp.org/testimonials/
All are welcome to attended the retreat at St. Mary’s.
Suggested Donation: $25/Individual; $40/Couple. Donation includes breakfast, lunch, dinner, and all retreat materials. Scholarships are available.
For more informaiton about the Emmaus Minsitry, visit www.emfgp.org/. More information may also be obtained by calling (800) 919-9332 or sending e-mail to: info@emmaus ministryforgrievingparents.com.
Those interested in attending the retreat at St. Mary’s in Morgantown Oct. 19, may register online at https://wwwemfgp.org/10-19-19-morgantown/
Emmaus Ministry for Grieving Parents to Hold Retreat in Morgantown this Fall
By Colleen Rowan