Here’s What Parents Have To Say About Our Retreats

One-Day Retreats

As more time goes by since I lost my child, there seems to be fewer and fewer opportunities to talk about him and share those feelings.  I love being able to talk about my faith in relation to my loss.  This is the only place I can do this.

As I listened, I was struck by the paradox of the brokenness/weakness of the words and the obvious strength of each of the retreatants

I know what it is like to be angry with God, yet clinging to him because he is all that you have.  We entered filled to capacity with our grief and you allowed us to empty whatever we could or would… leaving a little less burdened.

Each of you are…reaching out to and offering other wounded parents a safe and sacred place to put their story and pain.  Whenever you do this, you bring your hurt, your missing, and your longing, to the surface with that squeezing effect on your heart.  Yet… you do it to help others.

As I glanced around the room throughout the day, I could feel the presence of the children bursting with pride telling those around them in heaven that we are the greatest parents and continue to be the greatest parents.  Love bridges any distance and continues through all eternity.

I did want to tell you a story about what happened Sunday after the One-Day Saturday Retreat experience…

When you asked at the beginning of the Mass to think of one thing about your child that brought you joy, the first thing that came to my mind was how much I missed my daughter’s hugs. Well, yesterday morning I slept in (which is a rarity) & my daughter came to me in my dreams (the 1st time ever) since her death & hugged me not only once but twice! We had a short conversation & she told me she was OK (which is what I have been longing & praying to hear from her!). It was an amazing & special feeling that I don’t think would have happened had I not been at the retreat the day before. I have always believed that her spirit and soul has lived on but I needed some confirmation that what I believed is true. I do believe she was with me during the retreat (especially during the Mass) & granted me my wish & I wanted to thank you, Fr. Richard & the whole team for helping that to happen. You are all gifts from God! Your ministry is a blessing & you all did a great job & need to continue it just like you are to help others that seek spiritual comfort & understanding. I will be forever grateful to you all & hope to stay in touch with you all for a long time.

I did myself the favor of not bringing any expectations. I was just hoping that spending a day with those who can understand my grief would bring peace and healing. Though I can’t predict the long term impact of today, I do feel a tangible peace that I didn’t have yesterday. I can’t exactly put my finger on how that happened, but I really enjoyed the entire day.

The words that we shared and that were given to us were deeply felt. I was so thankful for having a whole day to “feel” my feelings with others with a loss of their child. The packets were very welcome – the walk – Emmaus – very much touched my soul in no other way since my son died

Weekend Retreats

Incredible, just incredible…I am exhausted and teary, but so grateful to have participated in this weekend…. I can’t put everything into words right now, but all I can say is that this entire ministry is Spirit-filled and Spirit-inspired…. many lives were touched…beginning with the three of us…

I sat in the back of the Church  Saturday after 4:00 pm Mass  and attended a  wedding ( I didn’t known the bride or the groom   but was able to enjoy  it and have a good cry)  I am glad I am now  able to do that , as for me  it is still a way to privately grieve (my son) and “what might have been”; sounds  crazy but this is a crazy business…  Grieving

No one else can understand when I get quiet for no reason and want to be alone, when I do crazy spontaneous things which are out of character for me; when I just go in my car and sobbed until the tears can’t flow anymore, when I thrash out in anger at a loved one for no reason at all ……………… but you all do!!  You get it and it was comforting for me to hear all your stories, all your innermost feelings and I thank you for that.

I listened carefully to parents’ words anger, disappointment and despair being thrown in God’s direction. At the same time, I saw parents looking for God’s help and a glimpse of hope. I know what it is to be angry with God; yet clinging to Him because He is all you have in the moment. They entered (the retreat) filled to capacity with their grief and all that entails, and you allowed each to empty whatever they could or would leaving a little less burdened.

The retreat in March had such a profound impact on me.  The love, compassion, and healing I experienced was a true blessing.  The retreat was one of the best experiences I ever had and I treasure the memories.  God is so awesome.   He supplies us with great things and puts wonderful people (like you and the others) in our paths.  We all have suffered so much with our losses, yet He provides us with such a wonderful opportunity to share and bond with each other.

A truly wonderful experience—no answers as to the “why” this happened and that’s ok—so good to be with those “who get it.”  My faith was dim, but with a little help and this retreat, the light, as with my son’s candle, has begun to shine again.  Thank you.  Thank you.  Thank you.

Your Ministry had a profound effect on (my husband).  It also helped us heal as a couple … it really did and continues to help us.

The weekend we spent with you was life transforming … it was for (my husband) and I immediately.  I would have said I year ago that (we) probably wouldn’t still be together … but we are and things have improved 10000% … Of course we will never have the life we had when we were a complete family … we will ache for (our daughter) and carry this cross until we are home …

Once again, we want you all to know that we left this weekend with exactly what we had hoped for—strength, wisdom and just a little more peace.

I just wanted to thank you all for your comfort and sharing this weekend.  I came home not with any answer, but with the feeling that I am not alone; I share my hurt, pain and love with my special Ministry Family.

I hope to keep in touch with you all and know that you are all in my heart and thoughts every day. This is a club no one wants to be in,  but I am honored to have met you all and thank you for your friendship.

Where can I begin?  To say the weekend was amazing both spiritually and physically is an understatement.  When I lost my son, I was numb, void of feelings at times, not knowing why I was feeling some of the emotions I was having… mad at God at times, having no patience with those around me who could not possibly understand my pain, etc.  This went on for a few years.  I tried small groups of people who have had a loss,  but until I surrounded myself with parents who have suffered the same loss as me and received the spiritual guidance I needed,  to try and understand and cope, I was floundering.

It’s the first time since it happened  … (in 8 years)… that my wife has found any peace at all.  Thank you.

I again can’t thank you enough for the retreat.  It was great to be among the walking wounded.

Last weekend’s retreat left me with the peace and comfort I needed to face the anniversary of (my son’s) death with more love, faith, and hope – and a bit less pain.

Thank you so much for everything you did to make the Ministry retreat a truly life-changing experience! I know that it cannot be easy for you to re-live the pain of your loss over and over again either, and we are extremely grateful for your willingness to reach out to us so generously.  As we go through this particularly difficult month, our hearts will be linked to yours…I know for sure that the Lord’s hand guided all of this. What a gift!

(My husband) and I wanted you all to know how much this ministry has helped us. It feels sad to say that because of the loss of our children that something good like this comes out of it, but isn’t that what we are searching for? Some good or something better than just the grief and loneliness. Some kind of purpose. The candle, the cards, letters, prayers, everything was perfect.

For us, this retreat was transformational. I honestly don’t know where we would be without it.

This was a Godsend to us. We have been so isolated in our grief and have not had any help with the spirituality of grieving for our children. We are so grateful for the kindness and compassion shown to us. Please accept our thanks for this ministry;

We come away emotionally and physically exhausted, but with a renewed faith that our children are truly alive and still with us; we come away with HOPE. There is nothing that can totally take our pain away, but somehow sharing with each other does help.

We have all been blessed by your love and compassion. We hope that this Ministry will continue to be the balm to our souls that is has been in the past 

It was very helpful in addressing my spiritual needs and met and surpassed my expectations. It was comforting that everything was directed to the newly bereaved as well as those who have been dealing with their loss for many years. Everything this ministry does is very comforting!

This retreat went above and beyond what I expected. The entire weekend was so perfectly co-ordinated. No confusion – just perfectly flowing without causing stress. So very much needed – so rare. You are so clearly led by the light of the Holy Spirit. What would people in our situation do without your devotion. I was so impressed because this was my first religious experience since my daughter’s passing… What made this retreat so special was being brought together with such wonderful loving people who have all suffered the same devastating loss.

We need each other and God works through people. It helped me understand others are seeking their spirituality and it is OK if I’m not totally there

I found the retreat so spiritual that it is hard to put into words. I felt the full range of emotions – loss, quiet, anger, frustration, & finally grace. The Holy Spirit was truly with us.

Yes, it helped me to realize that others are on the same journey. It helped me to realize that only with the Lord’s help can a person live through this experience. This definitely met my expectations.

Yes, it was very helpful. I had completely lost faith and all my beliefs when my son died. This was the first time that I had gone to Mass in a long time. It was wonderful to begin believing again. I came here with no expectations, but with an open mind, so this really exceeded my expectations.

Yes it helped me deal with my loss and really made me aware of more ways to address my spiritual needs.