In Belleville, Illinois, in the Mississippi River valley, the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate (OMI) have built a sanctuary of Our Lady of the Snow, in memory of their service in the Arctic. Today it is a place where various groups hold their retreats. And this is where the organizers of the upcoming I+YOU=WE couple reatreat (from the neighbouring Diocese of Springfield) managed to find place for us.
Today I met two married couples who had taken part in I+YOU=WE (during its 2nd edition in Omaha: Brad & Audrey Bolt, and Deacon Patrick & Daniele O’Toole). They invited Fr Brian Alford to join our Program 1. Unfortunately, he won’t be able to stay with us for long, but he’ll be here whenever that does not interfere with his duties in the parish.
We spent the evening on looking through all the workshop outlines, checked the schedule, rooms, meals and all other items which must be ready for Saturday and Sunday ahead.
I’m surprised again that the couples remember so much from their own participation in the Program, and how much they were able to change in their lives for good.
Patrick, for example, after the retreat asked his wife how he could really help her, so that she could see his real concern for her. She didn’t say anything, leaving him freedom of choice. He chose the laundry. For the last 15 months, Daniele has never gone dwonstairs to the basement to do the laundry. They’re both happy about it. So am I.
The second edition of Program 1 in Springfield Diocese is on. We offer it to Our Lady of the Snow and the Holy Family.
Categorised in: Fr Jarosław Szymczak