The Associates held their annual retreat June 28-30 at Immaculate Conception Retreat Center in Putnam. Attended by 13 Associates and their advisor, Sr. Marian St. Marie, the theme of the retreat was “Imaging God Through Art and Fellowship,”  a theme that brought varied and inspiring presentations, activities, reflections, group and personal prayer times, discussions and fun!

Sr. Marian provided us with examples of beautiful artwork and poetry and encouraged us to see how both can and did inspire personal inner stirrings to prayer and spiritual growth. Our visiting presenter, Jane Finlay, introduced by Linda Lamoureux, helped us create a  SOUL COLLAGE, a combination of pictures from magazines. Each of us chose pictures that “spoke to us” in a personal way and then we put together a small collage. Each one became a very different and personalized creation. She demonstrated with her own varied Soul Collages, how this can be used as a form of  meditation and spiritual “conversation.” The rest of Saturday was filled with the fun of BibleTrivia with Mary Lynne Catsam, music and Nigerian cultural dancing presented by Juliana Ekeson, and with Linda Lamoureux we were introduced to drumming exercises that can be used for personal fulfillment and relaxation. Pat Krodel shared a video, CHALK TALK, through which a Pennsylvania artist shares her spiritual journey and creates an amazing work of art using only colored chalk with Scripture and inspirational music as background.

During our last day together we prepared for Mass celebrated with Fr. Ed Dempsey. Nancy Berube led us in music practice, having chosen very appropriate songs for us to pick from. After sharing another nice meal, Jean Ryan and Diane Lavallee guided us through a meditation of The Potter through which we created a clay pot. Each of us shared our very interesting and varied creations, explaining what the process meant to us.  Finally, we ended our time together with a short inspirational video by Bishop Barron recommended by Deb Raymond. Then we shared the last prayer of this retreat, a poem written by Sr. Marian.

Every one of us…Nancy Berube, Muriel Bingham, Mary Lynne Catsam, Lorena Dutelle, Juliana Ekeson, Pat Krodel, Linda Lamoureux, Maria Langton, Diane Lavallee, Deb Raymond, Jean Ryan, Sr. Marian St. Marie, Diane Summa, and Peg Wilson, agreed it was a grand retreat but it would not have been possible without ALL of us working together, sharing deeply with one another and bringing our gifts of love to each other.  A heartfelt THANK YOU for all the help in preparing, setting up, and cleaning up! It was indeed a SPIRIT FILLED RETREAT!

For more information on our DHS Associate Branch/Program, contact Pat Krodel ( or Muriel Bingham at

Pat Krodel