Tuesday, August 25, 2015

St. Petersburg, FLA parish has successful consecration August 15

A great group of people recently participated in Fr. Michael Gaitley's Marian Consecration retreat, 33 Days to Morning Glory. Although many groups take a "vacation" from bible studies or other church group, during the summer months, this amazing group from St. Raphael Catholic Church in St. Petersburg, FL dodged vacation schedules and other plans so as to commit themselves to learning more about our Lady and consecrating to Jesus through her.

Frank and Lisette Shields and Raul and Kelly Bermudez agreed to open their homes for the group to meet. The summer weather allowed for small discussion groups to break out both inside and on the back porch.

Co-leader Kelly Bermudez said "Leading a 33 days group has been a gift!  As a convert to the Catholic faith,  Mary can be a roadblock, but more often it is just a misunderstanding of her importance and role in our Christian walk.  When I said "yes" to leading, I knew very little about Mary and had no real devotion to her.  I didn't know there was a need for this devotion.  But as Jesus taught me to know His mother through my 33 day retreat, I began to feel the peace and love of the Father more than I had ever felt before in my life.  I can truly say that this consecration has changed everything!  Mary is my "heavenly spiritual director" who will always lead me down the right path - the path to Jesus.  She is just waiting for us to ask for her help and intercession."  

Host Lisette Shields said "This is my third time doing the 33 day retreat, but the first time in small group with DVD and podcast.  It really came to life for me this time.  The small group discussion and podcast helped me through the difficult pages, really made me see Mary in a new light.: CLICK HERE for podcast

Photographer and group member Jane Winstead chronicled the group with pictures and the morning sky on August 15, Mary's Assumption into Heaven, did not disappoint!
Fr. Kevin Mackin, associate pastor of St. Raphaels, offered the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass at 8 am Saturday morning August 15. After the mass, he led the group through the consecration prayer.

The group then traveled to Panera Bread for coffee and conversation of the wonderful retreat they had completed.
Co-leader Cary Lennereth said "doing the 33 Day Consecration was one of the highlights of my summer. I loved learning about Mary, opening my heart and growing in my love for her with each passing day. Our Consecration day was very special and such a huge milestone in my spiritual growth. Thank you for the daily podcasts which really helped me piece all of the pieces together."

 Marybeth Finster who participated in this group, has led several groups prior and contributed to the podcast. Marybeth commented  "I have had so much fun just watching and hearing all the amazing stories of how our Blessed Mother has worked in the lives of the my group-I just love hearing the stories!!"

Anyone can lead a group- to get started, just contact me:
Julie Musselman

I'd be glad to help you and your friends, neighbors and fellow parishioners get started!

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