Goodness of Mary Donor Appreciation Retreat – Purification Heritage Center

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On May 11th, nearly twenty donors enjoyed a spiritually enriching day at Purification Heritage Center for our Goodness of Mary Donor Appreciation Retreat. We thanked our donors by spending time in prayer, fellowship, and nature on the beautiful grounds of the retreat center. 

The day began with mass at the historic Church of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary; the parish that proudly stands as the first Catholic Church in Georgia. Monsignor Richard Lopez gave a homily on taking a break from the world. He gave us food for spiritual thought as he reminded us that, “The devil loves noise, God loves silence.”

Monsignor’s homily set the tone for the day as we ventured towards the Purification Heritage Retreat Center which sits on 200 serene acres in Crawfordville, Georgia.  

Deacon Rick Medina inspired guests as he gave an insightful reflection on what it means to be generous. We reflected on how being a charitable person includes being free, grateful, and seeking connection with others. He challenged us to ponder this topic in one of the many quiet spaces found on the retreat center grounds.  

“God’s whispers are heard by those who listen.”

Besides cherished quiet time with the Lord, other highlights of the retreat included strolling through the paths adorned with beautiful paintings that depict our Catholic faith, receiving beautiful hand-made rosaries courtesy of a volunteer at Purification, sharing a meal, and mingling with people from different parishes in our archdiocese.

For the afternoon reflection, Monsignor Lopez invited us to the chapel to discern the goodness of Mary. He provided examples of writing and art that exemplified how holiness is attractive and engaging and how we can find holiness if we can find silence. It was the spiritual fruit needed to transition to the final part of our special day.

Before ending the serene spiritual experience, our donors were invited to write their prayer intentions and offered them as petitions for the intercession of our Blessed Mother.

It was a perfect way to end our time together as we gathered in the garden on the retreat grounds dedicated to her fruitful life. Our Virgin Mary is always praying for us, and placing these petitions in her hands was a beautiful symbol of her true goodness.

What a beautiful sunny spring day at the Purification Center! The Office of Mission Advancement looks forward to hosting future events like this retreat so we may share our appreciation for our generous donors and take time to be in spiritual communion with one another.

It is not enough just to wish well; we must also do well. – St. Ambrose