Retreat Reflections: “Having a Mary Spirit in a Martha World”

Kathleen Martin has been a parishioner at various parishes around the Archdiocese of Seattle. She recently attended our May 11-13 women’s retreat, “Having a Mary Spirit in a Martha World,” led by singer and speaker Donna Cori Gibson.

   Kathleen Martin

I really enjoyed attending the women’s retreat, “Having a Mary Spirit in a Martha World,” in May at the Archbishop Brunett Retreat Center.  Waking up on Mother’s Day overlooking Mary’s garden was extremely rewarding for me, since my mother passed away and I have no children. Spending the weekend with my sisters in Christ, and meeting other women from various parishes around the area made this Mother’s Day very special.

Listening to Donna Cori Gibson’s songs helped me to relax in the crazy world we live in. Learning how to be “a Mary” in a “Martha’s world” is important to me, especially today with all the chaos our world has to offer.  I was able to unplug from everything and spend time with my God. Walking around on the grounds that overlook the water helped me to find peace and connect to my Father. The gardens are so peaceful that I was able to pray to Mary, St. Therese, and all the saints.

Being able to spend some quiet time in the Chapel praying and lighting candles for people I know, as well as for those I don’t, was important to me. There are so many people hurting out there, and at least I can pray for them. I really enjoyed the Morning and Evening Prayers and attending Mass where I could receive the Eucharist.

I took away how valuable prayer is and use it at home daily. I bought Donna Cori Gibson’s CDs and listen to them when the news overwhelms me and I need to calm down. Hearing her sing prayers and mentioning that St. Augustine said, “When you sing, you pray twice” left an important mark on me since his mother, St. Monica, is the saint that I chose for my Confirmation. This brought me closer to her, as well as to him.

I attended a silent women’s retreat last year and had to return. I learned so much from that retreat as well, and use that experience in my daily life. I plan on making a women’s retreat a yearly commitment for myself.