SM Johnice Rzadkiewicz was the presenter for the last in a series of four Women’s Retreats on Sunday, May 3, at Immaculate Heart of Mary Convent in Buffalo, NY.In her presentation on “Discipleship,” she challenged each of the 44 women and several sisters present to listen to the Lord as he calls them to follow him as disciples.
But what does it mean to be a disciple? Sister Johnice developed the understanding of discipleship by looking at various Scripture stories including Noah, Moses, Abraham and St. Paul. She also shared the stories of St. Francis, Dorothy Day, and Felician foundress Blessed Mary Angela. She defined a disciple as “a pupil, a listener, one who comes to be taught.”
She said, “As disciples, our role is to respond to the Spirit and take the learning to heart. There is a price to pay in this response – one has to surrender one’s own self and interest to grow in relationship with God. To respond to God’s invitation to be a true follower, one has to love God more than anyone or anything else.”
During the afternoon session, Sister Johnice spoke about a “Holy longing, a restlessness inside each heart.” She invited Michael Gilhooly, who works with her at the Response to Love Center in Buffalo, to share his personal story of his return to the faith. His involvement in the Center helped him realize that everything he has is a gift from God and he celebrated God working in and through him.
Quiet time followed, with questions for reflection which were later shared in small and large groups. A visual reflection entitled, “I Will Come to You in the Silence” and a Prayer for Discipleship concluded the day.
SM Angelette Helak said, “The retreatants left with uplifted hearts and spirits, already looking forward to the upcoming retreats in the fall of 2015 and into 2016.”