As the school year winds down, Sister Marie Paul Grech and Sister Antoinette Marie Moon are wrapping up the first season of “Seekers,” a women’s spirituality group that meets on the first Tuesday of each month from 7:00 to 9:30 p.m. Seekers began in the fall of 2014 as the first public women’s spirituality group ever hosted at Notre Dame Center in Thousand Oaks, C.A.
In October of 2014, two women from Saint Rose of Lima Catholic Church in Simi Valley approached Sister Valerie Marie Roxburgh, director of vocation discernment and young adult outreach for the Sisters of Notre Dame, about starting a group for women. The original members of the group were very involved in their home parishes and needed an outlet for their own spiritual growth.
“They’re so involved in everything and they just give, give, give and you can only survive that so long before you’re dried up,” said Sister Antoinette Marie.
The sisters were happy to respond to the apparent need for a women’s group.
“By nature women are givers and we don’t always take care of ourselves, especially spiritually. Women need other women to share things with on a spiritual level,” said Sister Marie Paul.
Each meeting of the Seekers begins as the women wrap themselves in colorful prayer shawls and say a prayer asking God to “enfold” them in His love.
“We use the shawls as a symbol of prayer and mutual support. We gave one to each woman at the first meeting and from then on they brought their own shawls to wear,” said Sister Marie Paul.
The group meetings include music, reflection, scripture, short videos, conversation and snacks. Each evening ends with prayer petitions where the women offer up prayer concerns to the group.
“The women are caught up in a busy way of life as we all are, but when they’re here they’re with us 250 percent,” Sister Marie Paul said.
Sister leads two additional women’s groups: “Monday Morning Moms” at Saint Mel Catholic Church in Woodland Hills which takes place weekly at 8:30 a.m.; and a women’s study group at Saint Paschal Baylon Church in Thousand Oaks every Wednesday from 9:30 to 11:00 a.m.