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In this life, there is Just One You (JOY). You are a creator and the subject of your creation is your joyful life experience. At our recent JOY Retreat, mentors, staff, and spiritual directors with Dominican Center Marywood at Aquinas College invited guests to a variety of guided prayerful practices.

It truly was a morning of renewal as participants experienced a variety of prayerful and reflective practices on Saturday, April 30, at the JOY Retreat. Apprentice and Spiritual Director Mindy Hills welcomed participants to Dominican Center Marywood at Aquinas College and introduced them to the format for the retreat. “The ability to know our gifts and nurture them provide clarity in identifying where God is calling us to live a joy-filled life,” said Mindy.

Life is enriched through moments and community, and our facilitators offered moments of connection and grace. The JOY Retreat was a morning of spiritual renewal. The retreat time offered participants a taste of several prayer practices as well as supportive interaction walking the Emmaus prayer trail and experiencing sessions of spiritual direction with certified spiritual directors. Within this morning were conversations and gently guided contemplative prayer that helped the participants reorient their spiritual life with essential spiritual tools that honor Christ-centered living.

Sr. Diane Zerfas, OP invited participants to grow in understanding and appreciation of the life of St. Catherine of Siena with a short teaching from the Foundations in Spirituality formation intensive, which begins each fall. (Join the next group on Saturdays, 10:00 am – 3:00 pm, beginning September 17, 2022.)

With reflective prompts along the trail, participants imagined and contemplated walking with Jesus on the Road to Emmaus. Participants were invited to notice the beautiful wildflowers that bloomed and the sound of the creek that soothed their steps.

Dominican Center Marywood at Aquinas College is a ministry of Dominican Sisters ~ Grand Rapids.

Yolanda Ramirez oriented the group to the area that includes nature trails and more than 107 wooded acres.