Myrrh-Bearers 2018 was a great success with 57 women, teens, and girls participating. Held in Scottsdale at the Franciscan Renewal Center, attendees spent the weekend in prayer, fellowship, theological study, and receiving the sacraments. The theme this year was "Theotokos: Model of Grace", and women’s sessions focused on studying the beautiful Akathist to the Theotokos which was prayed Friday evening. The teens were led this year by youth leader, Grace Rivera and her team of young women. They studied the titles of Mary in the Akathist and created their own titles reflecting how God made them in His image and likeness. Consecrated lay women, Renee Sylvian and Julie Lynch from Madonna House in Winslow, AZ, led the children in studying the "Life of Mary" with plenty of crafts, games, and prayer time. Saturday night, after a long day of reflection and prayer, participants relaxed and enjoyed time together with a fun pool party including ice-cream sundaes. Sunday morning brought a lively panel discussion led by Janet Escobedo from Holy Angels in San Diego. Her invisible microphone and enthusiasm aided greatly in the new participants sharing about their experience of Myrrh-Bearers.
The Retreat concluded with Divine Liturgy celebrated by Bishop John Pazak, C.Ss.R., who expressed his great joy at seeing so many women and girls gathered for fellowship and prayer.
Savanna from Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Albuquerque, NM shares, “I really enjoyed confession and the people. I am thankful to God that He puts around each other, and gives us His priests to help us along this journey! It is always fun to see everyone from all the different parishes. It reminds me that I truly am part of a body. I am thankful for all I can learn from all the family in Christ!”
Cece, a teen from St. Thomas the Apostle in Gilbert, liked building community with other young people and says, “It was really cool to learn more about Mary and to think about who I am in Christ. We decorated scrolls with our name in calligraphy and added titles that tell about us.”
Myrrh-bearers.com. "the new website for the retreat, allowed for online registration this year as well as being a format for sharing information. As the website expands, the goal is to upload some of the talks from the retreat as well as a link to the Akathist so that others in the Eparchy can be a part of this experience,” says creator Danny Forbes from St. Thomas. Many thanks to Danny and all the volunteers who helped put on the retreat this year, especially Bishop John and the clergy who shared their time. Plans for Myrrh-Bearers 2019 are under way, with trust that God will bless the women of the Eparchy through this special time together.