Online Retreat – Present in the Pain

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. Psalm 147:3

Registration is now open!

Retreat dates: October 12 – November 16

A Catholic healing retreat specifically for grieving mothers, Present in the Pain will take a look at our experiences of loss through the lens of our Faith, drawing on the example of Our Lady of Sorrows as a fellow grieving mother.

If you have experienced the loss of a pregnancy through miscarriage or stillbirth, or the loss of an infant or child of any age, this retreat is for you. A bereaved mother myself, I hope to minister to your broken heart and accompany you on your healing journey while bringing you together with other grieving mothers who understand the intense and ongoing pain of this unique loss. Together, let’s explore how to be present in our own stories, how we can learn to trust God again with our broken hearts, and the ways in which our suffering can help us to grow.

Photo by Fallon Michael on

Retreat format

My original intent was to do these retreats in person beginning this spring, but the coronavirus happened. So since we might not have the ability to devote a full day or a weekend apart from the busy-ness of our daily lives during this time, this retreat will be spread out over the course of six weeks. I will post a new video each Monday morning in a secret Facebook group that only the members of this particular retreat will be able to join. You will have unlimited access to the videos for as long as you like and will be able to watch them whenever you have time over the course of the week, comment on them, and discuss them with other retreat members.

Some of the sessions will have a creative activity associated with them. For those sessions, I will post a second video demonstrating the activity for you so that you may do it at home at your leisure whenever you feel ready and have time to do so.

The videos will include topics such as

  • Telling your story – how it heals the hurt
  • The unexpected aspects of grief and trauma (includes a creative activity)
  • When it’s hard to pray – learning to trust God again
  • Dealing with unanswered questions: Why? What if? and What could have been?
  • The Church’s teaching on our babies as saints in heaven (includes a creative activity involving our children’s names plus a live prayer time of meditations on Our Lady’s Seven Sorrows. We will conclude with a litany of saints that includes our youngest children, and prayers for the repose of the souls of our older children.)
  • The gifts of suffering – growth and an eternal perspective

and more!

Each week, there will also be two one-hour live video meetings available for real-time discussion and questions at times to be decided on by the retreat participants.

Participants receive access to a Spotify playlist of songs that are helpful in grief, and a booklet that I have written, called Praying With Our Lady of Sorrows – Meditations for Grieving Mothers.

I hope that you will set aside a bit of time for yourself every week to relax, watch each video, and participate in whatever way you feel comfortable doing. This is a special time just for you.

Materials needed

Some very basic items will be used for our creative activities. Many of these you may already have on hand in your home, but all can be purchased relatively inexpensively.

You will need:

  • a blank notebook and pen or pencil (It can be a fancy journal-type notebook or a basic black and white marbled composition book. It can have lines or no lines. Any type of notebook will work.)
  • colored pencils or crayons (You’ll want something to create blocks of color in your notebook that won’t bleed through the pages.)
  • a 4×6 or 5×7 photo frame (Any style is fine – use whatever goes with your decor. You will be creating something that has your baby’s name on it and can choose where to display it in your home.)
  • Watercolor paper, paints, and a paintbrush (This can be obtained at any store that has art supplies – Michael’s or AC Moore, Hobby Lobby, or even Target and Walmart. You want paper that won’t bleed and a basic tray of Crayola-type watercolors with a brush included will work just fine. The watercolor paper will be cut to fit inside your frame. Don’t be intimidated by this activity – it is very simple, but beautiful.)
  • scissors, glue (optional)

Space for this retreat is limited to 25 participants, so that we will be able to effectively interact with one another, so please don’t delay in signing up if you’d like to participate.

I am really looking forward to being with you for this special time of discussion, creativity, prayer, and healing.

Reviews are in from the first Present in the Pain retreat:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

“I LOVE the Our Lady of Sorrows booklet.”

“I learned so much more how to grieve with an eternal perspective thanks to this wonderful retreat.”


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