Discover the beauty and significance of Spiritual Motherhood and how to grow in this extension of our vocations as women in the Catholic faith. The knowledge, wisdom and loving presence of Spiritual Motherhood is greatly needed in our world today.

7th Annual Vermont Catholic Women’s Retreat

“Women: The Heart of the Family”

Saturday, Nov. 17, 2018

Holy Family Parish Center

Essex Junction

9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

One woman’s experience: As a young woman in my twenties, I was blessed and privileged to have encountered a religious sister who took on a role in my life, much like a mother would. This woman who had given her life to God, became a spiritual mother to me. Her presence was very peaceful, nurturing and reflective of God’s love to those around her. Her words of sincerity and truth regarding the faith encouraged and guided me well during that time of my life amidst the joys and adversities I might have been experiencing. She demonstrated a steadfast love for God through a captivating and contagious soulful joy in her commitment to her religious vocation. Her call to our Lord’s service was exemplary as she ministered to those within her religious community and beyond with a loving heart. This woman’s valuable impression still resonates with me today.

We are all very familiar with the precious life-giving gift of biological motherhood, yet spiritual motherhood goes even beyond this. Spiritual motherhood is that call to communion for all women to serve God and His people through the created gifts of a woman’s God-given femininity. St. John Paul II stated in his apostolic letter, Mulieris Dignitatem, that femininity defines women for who they are and their essential qualities. (cf. ibid, Mulieris Dignitatem, 30) Whatever a woman’s vocation; single, married or religious, a woman is called to service using her innate qualities of caring, nurturing, self-giving love, compassion and guidance to whomever, whether familial or not, to serve the Creator who made us all. Women are, as endowed by our Creator, the heart of the family and that family goes beyond her immediate family.

Our Lady, the ultimate example of spiritual motherhood, pray for us.

—Mary Niekrewicz and the Women’s Retreat Committee