More than 80 Attend Women's Retreat in New Philadelphia

More than 80 women gathered at Holy Cross Parish in New Philadelphia to reflect on the call to conversion during Lent.

“When you pray, go to your inner room, close the door, and pray to your Father in secret,” said Maggie Riggins, Executive Director of Evangelization and Formation, in her reflection after the Gospel passage, Matthew 6:6.

She led the participants in a reflection on the three verbs found in this passage, “go, close, and pray.” “Go – Jesus sends us on mission. Close – Making sure that we are separating ourselves from the world to focus on connecting with the Lord. Pray – What to pray for,” she said, summarizing the latter with the acronym “F.A.S.T.” “F for focus, A for authentic desires, S for silence, and T for temperance.”

The Women’s Lenten Night of Reflection on April 4 was sponsored by the Commission for Women of the Diocese of Allentown.

Mass, Adoration, and Confession were offered by Father Gregory Karpyn, in-residence priest of St. Patrick Parish, Pottsville. Monsignor William Glosser, pastor of Holy Cross Parish and St. Clare of Assisi, offered his parish hall for the retreat. The volunteers of Holy Cross Parish decorated the parish hall with fresh flowers and baked desserts for the participants.

“I didn’t think this event would be as big as it was,” said Terri Gibbons, pastoral assistant to Monsignor Glosser. “The attendance showed us that there is a need for this kind of program.”

Gibbons remembers how the reflection of the night invited her to “wear the ashes all the time,” living in a spirit of repentance all throughout life. “It was a great way to enter Holy Week and get everybody to pray to the end of Lent,” she said.

Meredith Corrales, who is part of the Young Adult Commission, shared that the event brought together “so many more people than expected. Living in a rural area we are exposed to the same people, and it was great to see so many other likeminded people.” “Maggie’s talk was great,” said Corrales who learned about the retreat via Riggins’ monthly email to young adults.

The next Women’s Retreat will be on Wednesday, May 24th at 6pm at St. Joseph the Worker Parish Hall, Nine South Broad Street, Frackville. For registration, please email Kristin Osenbach at


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