AIM retreat banner: We are the Body of Christ and We Do Not Stand Alone
The Table of Spiritual Bodybuilders, who won the competition, performs during AIM's Got Talen: John and Dick; Pierre, Gina and Peter; and Maureen and Lisa sing, accompanied by Paul on the guitar.
The AIM retreat participants gathered in a circle for Saturday night's entertainment, a sing-a-long led by Rosemary Stone and choir members from St. Jude Catholic Church.
Father Michael joins the singing as Rosemary Stone plays "Fields of Athenry," Father's favorite Irish song. Father baked five or six loaves of Irish soda bread for the weekend retreat.
The word milagro means miracle. These Milagros Hearts had their origin in Spain. People would put milagro hearts next to icons in the church when praying for a miracle and they were left as an offering. These hearts are evocative of the sacred heart of Jesus with the flames coming out of the top. You'll notice the heart has some small dents in it. You might say "my heart is dented." Our hearts get dented and bruised along the way, don't they?
Miracles are not always physical in nature, most times they are spiritual healings. People learn about healing through forgiveness and the change of heart, conforming our hearts to the heart of Christ Jesus.
There is a beautiful Catholic prayer:
"Jesus, Meek and Humble of Heart, Make my Heart Like Unto Thine."
The milagro heart represents love, healing and gratitude. We hope for our retreat participants that it will remind them of the special spiritual weekend they experienced and give them an appreciation for all the little miracles God places in their lives.
The theme for this year's retreat, We are the Body of Christ and We Do Not Stand Alone, reminds us always of God's active presence in our lives.
It speaks to the holiness within each of us.
It reminds us that we are connected to one another.
It enlivens us to be joyful and outspoken in our faith.
As it is written in First Thessalonians:
We urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, cheer the fainthearted, support the weak, be patient with all.
See that no one returns evil for evil; rather, always seek what is good [both] for each other and for all.
Pray without ceasing. In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.
Do not quench the Spirit.
The Table of the Corpus Christi Community of Believers form a prayer circle on Sunday. Each table spent some time sharing and praying together Sunday morning.
Peter led Sunday morning's retreat singing while playing the Q-chord. He's shown with his buddy, John, and tablemate, Paul.
Kathy and Yung share a hug in the dormitory during the AIM retreat.
Bishop Gerald M. Barbarito greets Dan and Bob after Mass on Sunday.
Larry and Maggie stand to join the singing of "Sweet Caroline" at Saturday night's sing-a-long. Gina, Bob, Flossie and Dan also participate.
Rosa holds the sign for her table: The Corpus Christi Community of Believers.