Clergy Wives Retreat Held in Winnipeg

March 22, 2024

Clergy Wives Retreat Held in Winnipeg

On March 2, 2024, eleven women were abundantly blessed as they gathered together for the first Clergy Wives Retreat hosted in the Archeparchy of Winnipeg. At the invitation of Metropolitan Lawrence, the dobrodiyky spent a day in prayer, reflection, and fellowship at St. Charles Retreat Centre. This was made possible through the generous sponsorship of the Ukrainian Catholic Women's League of Canada (UCWLC).

The retreat, led by Bishop Andriy Rabiy and Father Volodymyr Bashutskyy, began with the celebration of the Divine Liturgy and an opportunity for confession. During the first coffee break a delightful flurry of Ukrainian and English conversation broke. Looking around the room, there was an obvious blend of cultures, ages, and stories. Even more obvious was the joyful encounter between sisters who shared a unique calling.

From there, the participants divided themselves into language groups. The English speakers took part in Bishop Andriy's session on the Gospel of Mark, following Jesus' journey from suffering to glory. The Ukrainian speakers joined Fr. Volodymyr to reflect on the need for cultivating a deep spiritual life as a person, wife, and mother. The groups then switched places and the presenters switched languages, allowing everyone to seamlessly receive the same content.

A delicious lunch provided the chance to visit and enjoy excellent company. Towards the end of the meal, Mrs. Orysia Hull gave a presentation on the purpose of the UCWLC and their dynamic role in building up the Church in Canada. The clergy wives were encouraged to support their good works within their respective communities.

The afternoon commenced with another set of breakout sessions. Bishop Andriy spoke on "Healing in Forgiveness" gently reminding listeners that Christ desires all to be made whole and to engage in the process of seeking and receiving forgiveness. Fr. Volodymyr insightfully spoke of "Women in the Bible" drawing out the attributes of Esther, Ruth, and Mary that directly inform the vocation of those married to priests and deacons.

Reconvening for a large group discussion, everyone unanimously expressed their appreciation for the retreat, leaders, and organizers. The dobrodiyky shared the hope that this would become an annual two day event. Some added that a spa would make a great venue. With full hearts, the women concluded their retreat by praying a Moleben to the Mother of God. The unexpected gift of this sacred time shared together is undoubtedly the sweet beginning of something beautiful and holy.

Writen by: Dobrodijka Sophia Korban

Pictures: Dobrodijka Olga Buduykevych & Dobrodijka Iryna Khomitska

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