An Option for the Officially Overwhelmed

A Question for You

Have you ever felt like if pulling your hair out was an acceptable way to relieve stress, you would be bald? Are your hands getting raw from desperately clutching the end of your rope for so long? Can someone standing within a three-foot radius of you actually smell how short that fuse is burning? Yes? Then please keep reading.

An Option for the Officially Overwhelmed

Retreat! Busy as we are being teachers and missionaries, we Sisters of Immaculate Heart of Mary School are still highly sympathetic to the plight of the Officially Overwhelmed, and we would like to offer what assistance we can by way of private retreats. Unlike official retreats, private retreats cost you nothing beyond travel fare and are easy to adapt to your own schedule: one day, one weekend, or, as in the case of Mrs. Anne B. from the West Coast—two full weeks.

“My Retreat with the Sisters”

Here follows Anne’s personal testimony:

“I was prompted to go on a retreat because I was physically, emotionally and most importantly spiritually exhausted. I knew I needed to get away from the hustle and bustle of daily life as the homeschooling mother of thirteen. I felt I was being pulled in every direction except upward toward Christ. I was in a battle and I was losing it. I needed to RETREAT!!!!

“The determining factor in turning my desire into a reality was the fact that I really didn’t like how I was handling anything at home. I just prayed to the Holy Ghost to give me the right words to say when I asked my husband if it would be ok for me to go away for two weeks. I realized that is a longer time than most retreats but it was exactly what I needed.

“Since I live in a spiritual wasteland and have Mass only on Sundays in a women’s club, I appreciated being engulfed in a Catholic community. I really enjoyed being a guest at the convent for supper and being able to engage in conversation with the Sisters, and I enjoyed recreation time very much because I unfortunately don’t do that at home. Since this was not a formal retreat, I just benefited from the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and daily Communion, the sermons given by the priest, the different lectures given by Brother André and Sr. Marie Therese and Mr. Koralewski. It was providential that I was able to go to Boston and visit the Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help which was very edifying, peaceful, and BEAUTIFUL! It was nice to be completely engaged in Catholic conversation and be able to listen and just sit in peace and quiet without any distractions. I was able to give my full attention to my prayers and to reflect on my life and what God wants of me….

“The greatest benefit I reaped from going on this retreat was to be a guest in the classroom and see the children being taught by the Sisters and thus see my children in a new light, as well as my role of mother/teacher. I got a new perspective on my life. I was too wrapped up in meeting deadlines for turning in schoolwork and keeping the house and yards clean that I didn’t care in what manner I acted in order to make those deadlines. I was acting like a drill instructor especially when my children would not cooperate with me. I saw the love and patience and attention given to those little students at IHM, and my heart just burst. I knew that is the kind of mother I wanted to be, but somehow I had gone completely off track. I am not saying, of course, that I didn’t do those things for my children, but I wasn’t doing them very well. I was strung out. Meeting all the demands of everyone was what I was trying to do when I should have been delegating jobs to others and saying NO to requests that did not need to be fulfilled.

“For me, seeing the Sisters working with the children has helped me to be a better homeschooling mother and just all around a happier person.

“I would encourage mothers to go on a retreat because we have such a grave responsibility, and we need to be fortified in order to carry out the duties of our vocation. We need spiritual refreshment and encouragement because motherhood is demanding and we need to refuel and recharge our spiritual batteries.”

How to Arrange for Your Private Retreat

Ladies: call or email Sister Marie Thérése, our Prioress: (603) 239-6495

Gentlemen: call or email Brother André Marie, Prior: (603) 239-6485

Immaculate Heart of Mary School