Thursday, 3 November 2011

Hypothetical Retreat Question

So if I were planning a three day retreat for Single women with a priest in your town, on what topics do you think the seminar talks should be?

This is a serious question. I've been given a date, a location and even a title. By the way, it will be in central Europe, so don't bounce up and down shrieking with joy unless pani rozumie po Polsku.

Anyway. There it is. Three days. Primary text: my book. Priest on tap. Mass. Adoration. Lectures. No boys (except priest) allowed. What should we all talk about?


Morgan said...

Peace! Talk about peace. How to find it as a single woman, and how to maintain it while remaining single or while dating/being courted/heading toward marriage.

Tess said...

Emotional chastity and learning how to keep the mystery by keeping some things to yourself. Learning to trust God and not trying to force relationships. Understanding singleness as a time of spiritual growth, and how to improve your life of prayer accordingly.

Seraphic said...

1. Peace
2. Emotional chastity
3. Feminine Mystery
4. Trust in God
5. Time of spiritual growth.

This all looks good.

Jess said...

Vocation! What a vocation really is, and what it is not.

Urszula said...

How about cooking, food shopping, and other practical aspects of being a single woman? The above ideas and theories are all very good, but I find the nitty-gritty practical details of single life to be the toughest to overcome. The most depressing thing about single life for me after 4 years of living alone is eating alone, and cooking just for myself, and a lot of singles I know echo the sentiment of feeling blue because you threw out bread that went stale since you had nobody to share it with. Even just an hour of practical tips on similar topics interspersed in the retreat with profound topics could be useful :)

Seraphic Spouse said...

O! Good ideas about the cooking!

6. What a vocation really is.
7. Cooking for one!

Anonymous said...

Hi Seraphic..Ive been lurking for some time...thought I would share a dream of mine and a little adventure making my own retreat this summer

I made my own two week retreat in a Methodist beach town in NJ-the most Victorian Homes in the USA (the inn I stayed at on the ocean was owned by Catholics as it turned out)..I went to bible study in the morning ...the beach badge checkers had erase boards with scripture for each day to reflect on..Wooden crosses on the beach & cute main street with shops & restaurants etc.I went to the local Catholic Church for mass...and the icing..I did ladies surf camp and learned how to surf with 26 ladies aged 18-60. THe instructors gave us long stemmed yellow roses, t shirts and photos at the conclusion. I felt like the beloved daughter of the King of Kings- I also went parasailing (I am afraid of heights, but loved it-and was so bold as to flip myself upside down and get dunked in the ocean) ..and spontaneously saw Tony Bennett in concert two blocks from the inn. I think overcoming fears,enjoying life and God's creation, change,trying something new & healthy, dreaming big (like a child) and the power of scripture and prayer could all be great themes..with some exercise and quiet time reading spiritual works ( i took the "Mother Teresa and her people" book off the shelf at the Inn and read it on the beach as well as snuggled in my room on rainy day with a cup of herbal tea. I hope to run retreats, I am about to complete my Master's in Counseling from Franciscan U...I would love to offer Catholic Surf BootCamp for Ladies! Add works of charity and good healthy home cooked food...Adoration & Spiritual Direction with a Holy Priest..What do you ladies think?

Magdalena said...

Also regarding the practical aspects:

Something about growing old alone. I'm not growing old yet, but it sometimes crosses my mind how it will be when I'm old and have nobody to look after me.

Or: How/where to spend Christmas when all your siblings have their own family and you don't want to be the only leftover child with your parents until you are 60.

Jam said...

Perhaps "work-life balance for the Catholic single woman". Is having a demanding/consuming career path incompatible with getting married? If you're not the sort of girl out dating every weekend, how do you know when your work is getting in the way of your private life.

I think "vocations" is a good one. My favorite part of your Notre Dame talk was when you talked about how vocations don't necessarily come at college graduation. What are "late" vocations, what do they tell us about vocations in general?

Catholic Schoolmaster said...

Good luck with your retreat.

If you find the solution to:
1. Cooking for one (and household management for one); and
2. Growing old alone;
then please write it up!

There are some single men who might be interested in how to manage those aspects too!

"Male well-wisher."

Lena said...

Something about how to be a misfit when you are with a bunch of women who are mothers and that's all they talk about. I'm not sure what category that would fall into.

Lena said...

I mean learning how not to feel like a misfit.

Domestic Diva said...

My solution to cooking for one has been to cook a regular meal, eat part, then either save the rest to eat as leftovers or freeze the remainder in single portions. It works beautifully if I can cook on my days off, and then come in and reheat dinner on the days I work. I've also been experimenting with Robin Miller's Quick Fix Meals. While she's cooking for a family, she's all about freezing things for later, or creating different recipes that use all that stuff you only needed a little bit of for one recipe. I've been able to adapt her principles to my life, even though I'm only cooking for one.

MaryJane said...

I second the post about fitting in with women friends who are all married/ with children.

Also, the "psychology" of men - I was just reading Love and Responsibility again today and was reminded (and floored by!) how much women and men don't understand one another. John Paul talks about how important it is for women to understand how men think - how they are often so very different and we just don't get it. (Which leads to situations as in your "Innocents" post.) I think more women need to know how men approach the world differently than we do. It can can help us be more understanding of them, as well. (As you say, "bless their little hearts.")

(I think men need to understand women better, too, but the retreat isn't for them.)

Please keep us posted!

Seraphic Spouse said...

Lena, I will have to work on "how to cope with groups of mothers who talk only about being mothers" because I have never experienced this. My parish is full of Single people and mothers with babies are a tiny minority. Theology school, ditto.

Back in the mists of time when I worked in a female-dominated government office, most of the women around me had children and I know they talked about them, but I don't remember feeling like a misfit.

I was often BORED, but I didn't feel like a misfit. In fact, I felt like I was going places (which I was--back to school!). Fortunately, they also talked about work stuff and (memorably) recipes.

Anyway, I'll have to think about how not to feel like a misfit around young mothers. Misfit is a funny word--does it mean one is wrongly fitted?

The one thing I can think of is that it would be wise to meet other unmarried women without children. I recommend an evening Meet-up. Married people with children tend not to go out at night so much, leaving the streets free for the young and the Single.

Andrea said...

@Anonymous: I think your retreat ideas sound very, very good! Esp the surfing. I also like any forum that gives time to "dream big." You never know where those ideas might lead and sometimes we get bogged down in the daily grind.

Jacobitess said...

Well, there's little I can add topic-wise, but how good would one's Polish have to be? Though I've been living in Warsaw for two years, it's still weak outside the realms of practical conversation.

I'm definitely interested in the retreat though! God bless!

Seraphic said...

Jacobitess, how exciting to have a reader using that name in Warsaw. Are you a Sobieskess, too?

KimP said...

This falls under the topic "Vocation", but specifically, "If God doesn't want me married now, what does He want me to be doing?"

As you have said, the hardest part of being single is waiting for your marching orders!