Retreats Gather Over 240 Women Around the Diocese

Over 240 women have attended one of three Diocesan Women’s Retreats in 2023, demonstrating a longing in the heart of women for community, connection, and deepening of their faith.

The Women’s Retreat held on Wednesday, August 2 at Immaculate Conception Parish, Jim Thorpe, gathered 75 women from Lehighton, Jim Thorpe, Frackville, Bethlehem, North Catasauqua, Allentown, and Hazleton.

Mary Matunis, Theology teacher at Marian Catholic High School, Tamaqua, and guest speaker for the retreat, addressed this need when she told attendees, “You are here because of your faith. You came here for a purpose. It is your faith. You have it burning in your heart.”

Tricia Matsko, parishioner of Sacred Heart, Palmerton shared that she wanted to attend a women's retreat to “fill [her] cup at the midway point in the year.”

Lauren Ganser, a parishioner of St. John Fisher, North Catasauqua, said that “it was refreshing to be with women of like minds.”

Earlier in the day, Ganser, who is a Red Cross volunteer, responded to a call to assist a family whose home was destroyed by a fire. She was taken aback by the faith and positivity of the mother. She knew that God wanted her to be at the retreat to pray for this family. “It was meant to be,” she said.

In her talk, Matunis invited the women to be bold. “We must let our light shine. Sometimes our light is to not be afraid to be ourselves.”

She reminded the women of their worth and of the gifts that they bring to the Church. Two of Jesus’ closest friends were women – Mary and Martha – during a time when women were considered property. Jesus called them by name because He saw their gifts and their worth.

Matunis led the women in singing “Christ be Our Light” as a reminder that “we need to receive it from God first, and the rest follows.”

She concluded her presentation by inviting women to let their light shine through acts of kindness. “A smile, a laugh. It is not hard. Just be kind.”

After the presentation, the women walked to the parish hall for fellowship and refreshments, where laughter, tears, and conversation lasted past 9 p.m.

Please check the AD Times, AD Today, and diocesan social media for information on the next Women’s Retreat in the Fall or Winter of 2023.


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