Home Page Home Page Events Events Photos Photos Diocese of Ogdensburg Home Page  
Follow Us on Facebook

Archives ‘This has definitely motivated me’
Our Lady of the Holy Rosary  Women’s Healing Retreat returns for third year

May 1, 2024

By Darcy Fargo

When Deborah Hintopoulos saw the first Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Women’s Healing Retreat advertised in a bulletin for her home parish, St. Patrick’s in Colton and St. Mary’s in Potsdam, a couple years ago, it piqued her interest.

“I had never been to any kind of retreat at all,” she said. “I didn’t know what that was. I thought, it’s a healing retreat. I thought it probably wasn’t for me. I don’t know that I need any healing.”

Hintopoulos contacted the retreat organizers for more information.

“Basically, the lady I spoke with said, ‘everybody needs healing,’” she said.

Hintopoulos signed up for the retreat. She enjoyed it so much, she signed up for the second one, too. She’s already signed up for the next Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Women’s Healing Retreat, to be held Oct. 10 to 13 at Wadhams Hall in Ogdensburg.

“It’s different each time,” she said.
While she wasn’t sure what to expect, Hintopoulos said she was made to feel comfortable from the moment she walked into her first Women’s Healing Retreat.

“The people who put it on are very warm and welcoming,” she said. “While I’m not like I used to be, I’ve always been shy. I’m not a big fan of groups like that and being close to people I don’t know. I walked in, and they made me feel comfortable right at the beginning. In terms of the people going to the retreat, I kind of recognized a few of them from the two parishes where I attend Mass. That made me feel pretty comfortable. The others were also very easy to talk to. I’ve never felt on guard or anything like that, and a lot of times in the world, I feel like I’m on guard.”

While she has enjoyed the various speakers and discussions, Hintopoulos said she enjoys the overall retreat experience, especially the availability of chapel time.

“I like the access we have to the chapel,” she said. “If you’re not listening to a speaker, and a lot of times they speak in the chapel, they have chapel time. I like Wadhams Hall. The first retreat was the first time I had ever been there. We stayed in the dorm area. It’s probably as close to a cell for contemplation as I’ll ever get.”

Hintopoulos said she’s had an interest in the Desert Fathers for a long time, and the retreat helped her determine she’s called to pursue more solitude.

“I had no idea this (retreat) would kind of move that interest, curiosity as it has,” she said. “This definitely has motivated me to the point where I really want to do something with a little bit more solitude involved. Just before Lent, I decided to take some blocks of time during the day for solitude. I’m fortunate I’m retired and can do something like that. My husband was very accommodating. I’d let him know, ‘I want a two-hour block of time here to have absolute quiet,’ with the exception of maybe doing some chores. He’s been really good about that. I continue to move in that direction.”

Hintopoulos said she thought the Our Lady of the Rosary Women’s Healing Retreat provided both time to learn from good, faithful speakers and build community, as well as time to step away from the noise of life.

“It isn’t all about solitude,” she said. “But the retreat helps us recognize and participate in solitude. You have speakers and discussions, and it’s broken up, but it’s a good opportunity to find and experience a little solitude. When you experience solitude, then you can recognize it even while you’re taking care of your family and working. But you have to start simple.”

North Country Catholic North Country Catholic is
honored by Catholic Press
Association of US & Canada

Copyright © Roman Catholic Diocese of Ogdensburg. All rights reserved.