On the afternoon of May 31, 2019, the Women’s Wellness Weekend planning committee welcomed 70 women to Saint Mary by-the-Sea Retreat House in Cape May Point, New Jersey. Sponsored by the Development Office of the Sisters of Saint Joseph, this event provides women with interesting workshops, delicious meals, and fun socials in a beautiful setting — all focused on enhancing wellness of body, mind, soul and spirit.
Sister Kathleen Pales SSJ
, Development Director, expressed her gratitude for this program: “These weekends have become very popular and we sold out both the June and September weekends very quickly. As the participants arrived on Friday evening, I knew that the weekend was going to be a great experience just by the excitement and energy they brought. We had over
forty first-time participants
at this weekend, and they seemed to feel at home and part of the community very quickly. The planning committee works hard all year long preparing. Add the staff, volunteers, and presenters, and we have all have a wonderful time. In addition, we raise funds at these events to help support both
St. Mary by-the-Sea and Saint Joseph Villa.”
Sister Maria McCoy SSJ
gave the keynote address on Saturday morning. She set the tone for the weekend as she spoke about the beautiful correlation between the choices available to us for caring for our body and mind, with the choice we can make to care for our spiritual well- being. Maria shared: “The renowned French Philosopher and Jesuit, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, notes: ‘We are not human beings on a spiritual journey. We are spiritual beings on a human journey.’ As we make this human journey, then, we could also ask, what exercises and practices will nurture the spiritual dimension of our beings?”
As the weekend drew to a close, it was clear how rewarding this experience at Saint Mary by-the-Sea was for everyone. On their evaluation form, the women expressed their appreciation: several comments are listed below:
This was the most spiritually uplifting and fun retreat that I have ever attended. Everyone is warm and kind. This weekend has been a true blessing for me. I want to come again next year.
I’m grateful for this weekend. My heart feels full and hopeful. I learned how to restore and renew myself.
This year seemed extra special. Thank you for having these weekends.They refresh my soul.
Amazing staff, volunteers, and presenters — I plan to return.
This weekend was full of wisdom. Much appreciated. Holy place, holy surroundings, holy people. This was my first time, and I loved it.
This weekend exceeded anything that I could have imagined. I will be back to learn more.