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 | Sister Kathy Roberg and Sister Sharon Bongiorno

On the Bus

The last week in June was a voyage! On June 24, eight religious sisters of the diocese –Sister Colleen Byrne, OSC, Sister Christiana Marie, SMMC, Sister Gabriella Marie, SMMC, Sister Sharon Bongiorno, FSPA, Sister Kathy Roberg, FSPA, Sister Beverly Dunn, SP, Sister Margarita Hernandez, SP, and Sister Karen Martin, OSB – spent special time with 36 young women of high school age from Spokane, Boise, Id., and Pendleton, Ore. Our VOCARE retreat took place at Immaculate Heart Retreat Center, which donates generously to enable these girls to spend time at this peaceful setting.

We gathered for presentations, a panel discussion on vocations, morning and evening prayer and daily Mass – thanks to Father Miguel Mejia, Father Jo Heîn, Father Rory Pitstick and Bishop Daly. Fathers Paul Vevik, Kyle Ratuiste and Rory Pitstick offered the sacrament of reconciliation. We had game time, a day of retreat for returnees and an evening of one-on-one “VOCA” conversations with sisters from the 12 different congregations missioned in Spokane.

“On the bus” was the touring portion of their retreat. Gonzaga Prep faculty member Barry Barfield drove a Prep-donated bus to take retreatants to various outreach sites in Spokane that were either initiated by religious communities or where these communities are still actively involved. They also visited the convent of the Missionaries of Charity, the monastery of the Poor Clares, the Cathedral of Our Lady of Lourdes and the Monument to the Religious buried at Holy Cross Cemetery.

We pray that these young women, as they wear their t-shirts that read “I praise you for I am wondrously made,” will take the time to pray and reflect on its meaning as each continues on her particular voyage. Other generous donors who make VOCARE possible are: The Catholic Foundation, Saint Pope John Paul II Foundation, Serra Club, Knights of Columbus, Catholic Daughters of the Americas and St. Thomas Aquinas Home School Co-op.