Jessica Sherwen, Program Director, at the Marianist Family Retreat Center, Cape May, NJ, sends us this update.
On the weekend of January 27-29th, 2023, the Marianist Family Retreat Center offered an interfaith retreat for refugee families, individuals, and couples in collaboration with Interfaith-RISE. This ministry serves refugees in Central New Jersey. The retreatants were from Afghanistan and Ukraine, with the majority being Muslim and non-English speakers. What a blessing to witness the Holy Spirit weaving these differences together (even the translation hiccups were cause for laughter rather than anxiety). The retreatants were truly able to relax, reflect and rejuvenate through sessions, prayer experiences, and activities. For some, this was their first chance to "be" and enjoy life since coming to this country. We also had a lot of fun experiencing the ocean, the zoo, the nearby town of Cape May, and even stargazing on the beach. Our incredible volunteer staff ministered to the retreatants with openness and compassion, and we were all enriched as the retreatants shared their culture, prayers, and unique perspective with us. It was a retreat like no other, filled with God's graces.