Jenny Snarski
Catholic Herald Staff

“Pure gift” are the words used by Sr. Kathy Salewski, OFM, director of Evangelization and Outreach for the Catholic Churches of the Bayfield Peninsula, to describe retreat days parishioners have attended at Marywood Spirituality Center.

For the past two years, members from the cluster have travelled to Arbor Vitae for a retreat day and overnight stay. Sr. Kathy said attendees “really enjoyed and got a lot out of” retreats.

With an onsite retreat not possible this year, Marywood staff Sr. Marla Lang, FSPA and Pat Pintens have offered to come to Bayfield for a day of reflection Wednesday, Aug. 14, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., beginning at St. Louis Church, Washburn.

The theme “Blessed Brokenness” was chosen through discussion by a small group of women from the cluster.

As the women shared concerns about drugs and alcohol and their effects on family and friends on the Red Cliff and Odanah reservations, the Franciscan sister sensed discouragement.

“They were getting stuck there,” she said, “because these grandmas feel hopeless to do anything more than prayer.”

She acknowledged the power and effectiveness of prayer, but she also knows more encouragement and tools are needed.

Throwing out the question, “What about your own addictions,” Sr. Kathy said the women went silent. After a few minutes, they were able to share, naming things they themselves considered addictions and destructive habits.

Able to bring the conversation full circle, she helped them land on the topic of blessings that can come from brokenness.

“It’s a good topic to bring up and share, because we often get stuck with the brokenness,” she said, “but there is always blessing, if we allow God to act.”

The retreat will include quiet time, communal prayer, some reflection starters and sharing. Participants will eat together and, weather permitting, enjoy time on the lakefront.

RSVPs are requested. Contact Sr. Kathy at or 715-913-0167.