Mother/Daughter retreat strengthens faith ties

Monica and Bethany Vega from Prince of Peace Parish in Ormond Beach enjoy making a prayer jar during the recent Mother/Daughter retreat at San Pedro. (GLENDA MEEKINS)

Names have been omitted to protect minors.

More than 30 mothers and daughters shared the day during the Journey Together: Hearts and Homes Full of Grace retreat at San Pedro Spiritual Development Center in Winter Park, July 7. It is the first retreat of its kind offered for teens and tweens.

Program director Kimmy Zeiler said the idea came about when two mothers approached her separately about wanting something for mothers and their daughters. Together they chose to begin an annual retreat. Future retreats will be offered for teens and tweens separately, but this year, all were united by the common theme of prayer.

“It is important to take time to reflect how prayer impacts your life in the home so we can grow in that area,” said Zeiler. “It’s a great opportunity for moms and daughters to talk about those things they don’t always think to talk about and to develop a plan for how they’re going to grow together in their relationship with Christ in the home.”

St. Isaac Jogues parishioner, Annie, brought her 11-year-old daughter, Zaniya. She was grateful for the opportunity and noted, “I was surprised at how much I was able to share some of my own personal faith journey with her. I was wanting to have a space with my daughter where we could spend time together, bond and grow that spiritual connection a little bit more. I think we got exactly what we were looking for. It was a great time to be together without the rest of the family, to have that one-on-one time. I have four other kids, so it can be hard to have that connection to each other on a personal level because you can get lost in the big group.”

Zaniya agreed saying, “Talking with my mom about where God was in situations of your life was my favorite.” Her sibling are ages 3 through 10 and she is the only girl, making this opportunity a special blessing.

After a talk about prayers and its various forms, participants were encouraged to incorporate prayer into their daily lives. Monica and daughter, Bethany age 8, of Prince of Peace Parish in Ormond Beach chose to embrace their love of nature by creating a “sacred space outside.” Others suggested adding prayer to their breakfast ritual or their morning car ride. And a family of mixed religions planned to share prayers of petition together.

After recently taking her son on a retreat day, Monica explained that she jumped at the opportunity to do something special with Bethany. She was so impressed that she plans to attend again next year and perhaps even participate on the planning committee. Meanwhile, Bethany is looking forward to pedal boating again. She said she relished it because “we got to see nature together.”

Mothers also created prayer jars with their daughters, decorating with multi-colored tissue paper and significant words and images. The jars are meant to hold affirmations and prayer intentions for their families and were blessed at the end of the day before the family Mass.

Mother and daughter TEEN overnight retreat is scheduled for May 18-19, 2019. The Mother and daughter TWEENS day retreat will take place July 6, 2019.

By Glenda Meekins of the Florida Catholic – July 9, 2018