Warner Robins Trinitarians to offer Lenten retreats

Originally Appeared in : 9905-2/28/19

The Missionary Servants of the Most Blessed Trinity in Warner Robins (Trinitarians) want to make the “Holy Spirit better known and loved”—as per their rule of life and charism—by offering customizable retreats for parishes throughout the Diocese of Savannah this Lent.


 “In all of these retreats, we’re hoping that they’ll come into a really not just intellectual understanding of their faith in Jesus but a personal relationship with Jesus so that they will in turn want to go out and spread that Good News to other people,” said Sister Theresa “Terry” Bretthauer, MSBT. “That’s what we’re really hoping it will be. Not that they’re [the retreats] not intellectual but they’re designed to touch the heart more than just the mind. And so people can be converted and come to know Jesus better.”


Of the available options: retreats that last 45 to 60 minutes, 90 to 120 minutes or 240 minutes. Two different themes are available per each allotment of time, and every retreat offers opportunities for prayer, discussion, faith sharing and scriptural reflection.


 “Well what we wanted to do was provide some choices for parishes—themes for retreats as well as choices of time frames—because we know it’s not a one-size fits all,” Sister Nancy Walsh, MSBT, said explaining the different options. “So we have six choices for parishes to select what fits them the best, and we can tweak them in any way we need to, depending on what the parishes want. We just thought we would prime the pump by having some concrete ideas to offer.”  


St. Joseph the Worker Church in Bainbridge and St. Patrick Church in Kathleen are among the parishes who have expressed interest in their Lenten retreats and although she, Sister Walsh, and Sister Therese Francis Walker, MSBT, currently live in Warner Robins, they say they are well accustomed to travel.


“We have all been in ministry where we’ve traveled a lot. And so we are used to driving to other parishes for their convenience to be there, to be of service,” Sister Bretthauer said. “And that’s kind of basic to our community, to reach out to the local communities…” 



Before coming to the Diocese of Savannah in August 2018, each sister served in various parts of the United States—Sister Walsh also did a short stint in Mexico—but their community desired a unique opportunity to address faith formation in a missionary diocese in the South. After some research and an invitation from Bishop Gregory J. Hartmayer, OFM Conv., they found their way to South Georgia.


Sister Walsh drew a parallel between the “Missionary Disciple” theme of both the 2018 Bishop’s Annual Appeal and the V Encuentro.


“It just felt like a really good fit between what we hope to do and what Bishop Hartmayer’s vision for the diocese is as well,” Sister Walsh said, also noting that Bishop Hartmayer had expressed a similar desire to help people “to deepen in their spiritual lives to follow Christ more closely.”  “So that’s how we ended up here.” 


“Our community has always sought to develop evangelizers. We call them apostles,” Sister Bretthauer added. “Today, the Church refers to them as evangelizers.” 


Sister Bretthauer also noted that they encourage parishes to reach out to them for other types of retreats, spiritual programs and training, even those that may not be advertised anywhere. 


“But when people offer us an opportunity to proclaim the Good News and the love of Jesus, we’ll say ‘yes’ if we can work it into our schedule any way,” she said.  

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