The Friends of Mary Ward meet monthly to reflect on the life and spirituality of Mary ward. There are now about thirteen members in the group which include some of the staff of MWL and they have formed a supportive network amongst each other. Some of the themes covered recently have been Mary Mother of God, The Trinity, Trust and Right relations with God and the whole of creation. The last meeting of December was very special for all members of the group. Two of the General Counsellors from IBVM were present in Albania and during this time the prayer for the coming of Advent formed a moving base for the visit. During these meetings we grow in the centrality of Jesus in our lives and our ministries, calling one another to live the prophetic mission of Christ faithfully and with integrity. We need to pray and to act so as to reflect the charism, the face of God, everywhere, on the margins and in the places of power and academia. We know we need to pay attention to the small things, stay on the margins and work with great responsibility because this is how we experience the call of Mary Ward today.
As this month’s meeting of the Friends of Mary Ward would be the last before the holidays, some of the group went on a pilgrimage and mini retreat to Kallmet, where the group could reflect at the beautiful Eufemia church and surrounding area. The theme for the retreat was ‘Trust in God’. We reflected on some of the stages in Mary Ward’s life where she was most challenged. We prayed together, had silence for contemplation and shared our reflections after pondering on some of the pictures of the Painted Life of Mary Ward. We reflected on how her struggles and her faith in overcoming these, could be applied in our own lives. After a morning of prayer we went to a beautiful setting where an established organic restaurant had been developed. The meal was delicious. We ended the day drinking coffee near the sea at shengjin. We were a very happy group on our return home.